VILNIUS - Dutch troops deployed in Lithuania contribute to the security of the Baltic region, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said on Monday during his visit to the Netherlands.
In The Hague, Nauseda met King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and stressed that the two countries have friendly and active bilateral ties in the areas of politics, economy, culture, trade, science and education, adding that Lithuania is ready to further expand these relations.
Nauseda highlighted the successful cooperation between the two countries in the area of security and defense and thanked the Netherlands for its contribution to the security of Lithuania and the whole region, the presidential office said.
The Netherlands vowed to increase the number of troops deployed in Lithuania to 300 in 2021, bringing the number up to 350, if needed. They will be stationed at the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Rukla until at least until end of 2024.
The deployment of Dutch troops in Lithuania is a proof of allied unity and commitment to defend each other, the Lithuanian president said, adding that the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius in July will demonstrate the unity and determination to strengthen the Alliance.
"Our unity in the face of the ongoing war in our neighborhood is essential. I appreciate the Netherlands' principled stance on Russia's war in Ukraine and its strong commitment to collective security. It is important for Lithuania to have such a reliable friend and ally," the Lithuanian leader said.
Nauseda is visiting the Netherlands on Monday to discuss the agenda of the forthcoming NATO summit and Russia's responsibility for war crimes in Ukraine.
Nauseda is scheduled to meet with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, International Criminal Court (ICC) President Piotr Hofmannski, ICC Prosecutor Karim A. A. Khan, as well as Eurojust Vice President Margarita Sniutyte-Daugeliene.