Linkevičius: NATO must send a strong message as Russia’s hostile behaviour continues
The Meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs took place on 27 April in Brussels. It focused on Russia’s aggressive military activity, hybrid attacks against NATO’s member countries and its partners. In the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius noted that during the forthcoming NATO summit the countries should in solidarity send the message that the Alliance was determined to defend its member countries and values.
“Russia’s behaviour is getting increasingly hostile. We can see it everywhere from the Baltic Sea to Syria. The country uses a wide array of tools – cyber and hybrid attacks are becoming an integral part of Russia’s foreign policy. We need to strengthen the Alliance’s effort, engage our partners in handling Russia’s hostile behaviour, in solidarity send a clear message to the east at the NATO summit, and agree on further adaptation of the NATO to a changed security environment,” Linkevičius said. According to Lithuania’s Foreign Minister, further Russian provocations will receive a principled response.
At the meeting of heads of state and/or government, Lithuania will seek that NATO’s deterrence and defence posture would be further implemented and strengthened, as agreed at the previous summits in Wales and Warsaw. The key issues will include the strategy for the reinforcement of the allies in case of a crisis, the air defence and force-readiness.
During the meeting, the Ministers discussed threats emanating from the southern neighbourhood. Linkevičius emphasized the importance of solidarity with the allies in the Alliance’s south and Lithuania’s determination to further increase its contribution to international missions and operations.
During the working lunch, the Ministers discussed NATO’s engagement in Afghanistan, prospects for peace talks, as announced by the President of this country, and the role of other regional players in pursuing peace in Afghanistan.
At a session dedicated to NATO's “open door policy”, the Ministers discussed possible solutions, which could be taken at the NATO summit, the candidate countries’ path towards their Euro-Atlantic integration, as well as support for the ongoing reforms in these countries.
According to Lithuania’s Foreign Minister, NATO's “open door policy” is a fully- fledged and well-tested instrument that significantly contributes to a strong and secure Europe. However, this goal has not yet been achieved.