Baltic, US defense ministers discuss NATO's planned decisions ahead of Madrid summit

  • 2022-06-27
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Baltic and US defense ministers discussed on Monday decisions planned to be taken at this week's NATO summit in Madrid, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said.

According to Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas, Vilnius is seeking NATO decisions that reflect the real situation and the threats that continue to grow, it said in a press release.

In the remote meeting with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Anusauskas said that "Russia is escalating the Kaliningrad transit issue for a reason, and the mention of a brigade in NATO decisions is therefore necessary. As is US leadership in these decisions," according to the press release. 

Lithuania and other Baltic and Central European countries are pushing for Russia to be named as a threat in NATO's new strategic concept.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said ahead of the summit that the Alliance would boost its forces on its eastern flank to brigade-sized units.

NATO's multinational battalions were deployed to the three Baltic countries and Poland in 2017, in response to the increased threat from the Kremlin following the annexation of Crimea. 

US forces have been continuously rotating in Lithuania since 2019.