L. Linkevičius proposes to increase readiness of NATO forces
Prior to the meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs today, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Curtis M. Scaparrotti in Brussels. They discussed issues of strengthening security and defense in Lithuania and other Baltic states.
L. Linkevičius stressed the importance of immediate implementation of initiatives and decisions made at the Warsaw summit that would increase readiness of NATO forces and improve the Alliance's ability to react very swiftly to potential aggression against the allies.
Lithuania also expects some significant results from decisions reached at the Brussels summit on strengthening the Integrated Air and Missile Defense. This is particularly relevant for the Baltic states that are on the frontier.
Lithuania is making every effort to strengthen its security and defense. The country is purchasing midrange air defense and artillery systems, armored vehicles, other important weapons and military equipment. The Foreign Minister stressed that Lithuania had recently adopted an important decision on spending 2 percent of its GDP on defense expenditures.
"We will only support those initiatives that strengthen our transatlantic unity, solidarity and joint efforts of the entire Euro-Atlantic community to defend our countries and values. A good example is the NATO-EU cooperation on cyber security, united EU and NATO actions aimed at increasing energy security of NATO members and EU countries, countering disinformation and hybrid threats," said the Minister L. Linkevičius. He noted that Lithuania spoke in favor of strengthening the Alliance, as a pillar of Euro-Atlantic security. L. Linkevičius believes that the EU effort to strength its defense capabilities must not duplicate NATO.
The meeting also discussed Russia‘s ongoing aggressive actions in eastern Ukraine. Special attention was given to Russia‘s aggressive actions against Ukrainian naval vessels in the Kerch Strait. According to the Minister L. Linkevičius, Russia's recent actions aimed at turning the Azov Sea into a Russian basin set a dangerous precedent, so the Alliance must assess them seriously, including all the necessary response measures.