Dalia Grybauskaitė to meet with King Philippe of the Belgians
President Dalia Grybauskaitė will meet with King Philippe of the Belgians tomorrow, Thursday, May 4 at 12 noon. The President and the King will discuss bilateral relations as well as cooperation between the Nordic and Baltic countries and the Benelux.
At 14:30, following their meeting at the Presidential Palace, President Dalia Grybauskaitė and King Philippe will visit Belgian soldiers serving in the NATO forward presence battalion in Rukla.
The meeting will focus on safeguarding security in the region and across NATO’s Eastern flank. The implementation of deterrence measures alongside preparations for the NATO summit to be held at the end of May in Brussels will be discussed.
According to the President, given Russia’s increasingly unpredictable and aggressive behavior, Lithuania highly values direct support from NATO allies and the presence of their troops in our country.
Some 100 logistic support troops from Belgium with their weaponry and vehicles are presently deployed in Lithuania. They have staged the ground for the arrival of German and Dutch soldiers and heavy military equipment. The NATO forward presence battalion in Lithuania will also be manned by Luxembourg, Norway, France, and Croatia.
Belgium actively contributes to NATO’s Baltic air policing mission in the Baltic states. Belgian fighter jets were the first to start patrolling the skies over Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in 2004. Since then, they have conducted four rotations in Zokniai and at the Ämari Air Base in Estonia. Belgian troops with military equipment took part in several international exercises in Lithuania.
In terms of trade, Belgium is Lithauania’s tenth largest economic partner. Active business contacts are maintained with the Flemish Region. The ports of Klaipėda and Antwerp have also established business ties. Universities are implementing joint projects in life sciences. Klaipėdos Nafta signed a memorandum of understanding with Belgium’s Fluxys to collaborate on the development of LNG projects and infrastructure. Special grants are paid by the Walloon Region to Lithuanian French-language students and lecturers