First signs show Madrid summit likely to meet Lithuania's expectations – MP

  • 2022-06-27
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Early indications are that Lithuania's expectations of having a NATO brigade and beefing up its air defense will be reflected in the Alliance's final document at this week's Madrid summit, Laurynas Kasciunas, chairman of the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defense, said on Monday.

"We are united in what we need to achieve as a country," Kasciunas said after a meeting hosted by President Gitanas Nauseda ahead of the summit.

"There are also good signals concerning our objectives: the transformation of NATO capabilities here, the move towards a brigade, as well as air defense elements and the possibility of hosting a division in each Baltic country," the MP said. 

"We have been consistently stepping up our diplomatic efforts along those lines, and from the first signs, as far as the final documents are concerned, there seems to be a good chance that our expectations will be met," he said.

Lithuania will be represented in Madrid by Nauseda.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said earlier on Monday 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. 

The region's countries have been seeking larger forces after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.

Lithuanian officials have said earlier that part of a Berlin-led brigade would be stationed in the country and part would remain in Germany and be assigned to Lithuania.