Ministers of National Defence and Foreign Affairs met with NATO Secretary General
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg conducting a visit in Lithuania praised Lithuania for increasing defence spending and efforts to strengthen security in the region at a meeting with Ministers of National Defence and Foreign Affairs in the evening of June 11. The NATO leader also underlined that as Lithuania increased defence financing it also strengthened the Alliance’s resolve to enhance collective defence.
This is the first Mr J. Stoltenberg’s visit in Lithuania since the historical Warsaw decision to deploy NATO units in the Baltic states and Poland and it marks the implementation of this historical step. Lithuania is the first of the Baltic states that hosts a fully manned NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group. According to NATO Secretary General , just three years ago the possibility to deploy NATO forces on its eastern border would have not sound real but today, in the face of the Russian aggression, it is vital and necessary deterrence that demonstrates solidarity and commitment of NATO allies to collective defence. Mr J. Stoltenberg stressed that it was necessary to seek to ensure in full the implementation of the Warsaw and Brussels decisions to strengthen security.
“The NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion in Lithuania is one of the most important decisions to Lithuania taken in Warsaw, it significantly enhances security and stability in the region,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis said. “However, Lithuania has to show a will to defend itself and strengthen its capabilities, it is the only way to have allies’ support, and it means we have to fulfil the commitment of defence funding that we have as a NATO member country.”
Foreign Minister L. Linkevičius said that enhancement of deterrence and defence in the east and a unified Alliance’s response to other threats, primarily caused by terrorism, demonstrates a solid NATO readiness to counter security threats of today.
Ministers R. Karoblis and L. Linkevičius and NATO Secretary General also discussed regional security and defence, readiness for collective defence and ability to respond to other security challenges of today of the Alliance as a whole.
On Tuesday NATO Secretary General is taking part in Distinguished Visitors and Media Day of multinational Exercise Iron Wolf 2017 in Jonava district. Dignitaries taking part in the event, President of the Republic of Lithuania HE Dalia Grybauskaitė, Minister of National Defence R.Karoblis, Minister of National Defence of Poland Antoni Macierewicz, Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Žukas, and ambassadors, chiefs of defence, MPs of other NATO countries, will observe a water obstacle crossing operation of Exercise Iron Wolf 2017.
Linas Linkevičius, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, had a meeting with Heinrich Brauss, Assistant Secretary General of NATO, in Vilnius on 4 July 2017 and discussed NATO’s further plans to strengthen collective defence and improve resilience to propaganda, cyber and other hybrid-type attacks.