Vilnius – Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with the delegation of NATO Parliamentary Assembly Sub-Committee on Partnerships, headed by influential German politician Karl A. Lamers.
The geopolitical situation, regional security challenges, strengthening NATO’s defense capacity, and relations with partner states – Finland, Sweden, Ukraine, and Georgia – were discussed at the meeting.
According to the President, NATO is successfully implementing the deterrence measures agreed upon at the Warsaw Summit: forward presence battalions are being rapidly deployed in the Baltic States and Poland. A German-led battalion has already arrived to Lithuania. However, it is paramount to continue enhancing the Alliance’s defense capabilities, Dalia Grybauskaitė said.
The President underscored that it was in our common interest to have a strong and united NATO well prepared for rapid response. This requires speeding-up the Alliance’s decision-making process, delegation of more powers to NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, continuously updating defense plans for the Baltic states, finding solutions to preclude a possible military isolation of the region, and shaping regional air defense.
According to the President, with the ongoing threats from Russia and continued geopolitical tension, Europe has an obligation to invest more into its own security by consistently increasing defense spending with the aim of rapidly reaching NATO’s 2 percent GDP benchmark.
The President stated that it was very important for the European Union to enhance its own security by complementing NATO, where needed, rather than overlapping it, especially in such areas as fight against hybrid threads, cyber-attacks and propaganda.
Cooperation between NATO and its partner states was also discussed at the meeting. The President underscored that neutral states – Finland and Sweden – constituted an integral part of the region, and it was therefore necessary to increase the number of joint exercises, improve interoperability between military units, and exchange information.
Dalia Grybauskaitė also underscored that prospects of future NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine was a significant factor to achieve more stability in the entire Eastern European region. It is paramount to strengthen cooperation and improve inter-operability between military forces of the Alliance and these countries as well as to assist Ukraine, fighting against Russian aggression, in reforming its army. The President stated that NATO highly valued Georgia’s contribution to joint allied operations.
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