VILNIUS – Europe’s security is inseparable from security in Ukraine, Lithuania’s Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas has said.
The minister is currently attending an informal meeting of the European Union’s (EU) defense ministers who discuss inter alia the decisions that should be taken in response to the situation near Ukraine’s borders.
“Europe’s security cannot be separated from security in Ukraine,” a press release from the Defense Ministry quoted Anusauskas as saying.
According to the ministry, particular attention was given to the issues of the Union’s assistance to Ukraine and enhancement of Ukraine’s military sector given that the ministers would decide on Lithuania’s initiative on the launch of an EU military mission in Ukraine during their next meeting in March.
“The EU military advisory and training mission would be a strong message about the Union’s assistance to Ukraine and a chance to show clearly that the EU is capable of operating reliably in the area of security,” Anusauskas said.
While meeting in France, EU defense ministers also had discussions with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the United Nations’ representatives about private military companies and their effect on the efficiency of the EU military missions in Africa and Eastern Ukraine.
Ministers strongly urged Mali to cease cooperation with Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary organization.
The Union’s defense ministers are also scheduled to hold a joint working session with EU foreign ministers and negotiate the content of the Strategic Compass.
According to Anusauskas, this strategic document should outline the threats posed by Russia’s actions that are contrary to international law and expressly provide for the Union’s commitment for enhanced cooperation with NATO, the United States and other NATO allies.