Lithuanian, Finnish presidents talks security, cooperation during phone call

  • 2024-03-20
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda had a phone call with his Finnish counterpart Alexander Stubb on Wednesday and discussed the security situation in Europe and support for Ukraine, the Lithuanian presidential office said.

The two leaders also discussed bilateral relations, the protection of the European Union's external borders and the management of illegal migration.

"Finland is an important ally and partner in ensuring the security of the Baltic Sea region. I am pleased that we will now be able to cooperate even more effectively as NATO allies in countering threats to our region," Nauseda said.

Lithuania and Finland, he said, have neighborly ties and are united by productive cooperation within the EU and other international formats, and now also have a strong relationship as NATO allies, the statement reads. 

Lithuania is interested in strengthening regional cooperation, especially in the areas of security and defense, energy security, control of illegal migration, and protection of infrastructure of particular importance, Nauseda said.

In his words, the upcoming NATO summit in Washington will be a good opportunity to demonstrate progress in implementing the agreements on regional defense plans, reached in Vilnius, as well as the implementation of the rotational air defense model and the commitment to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on defense.

The Lithuanian and Finnish leaders also discussed measures to combat illegal migration and its instrumentalization. Russia and Belarus has been using illegal migration for several years as an instrument to undermine and destabilize the Baltic states and other countries on the eastern flank of the EU and NATO, Nauseda said, adding that this is a matter of national security and requires decisive action at both national and EU level.

Nauseda also invited his Finnish counterpart to visit Lithuania soon.

Finland's former prime minister, Stubb took office as the country's president on March 1 after winning the election in February.