VILNIUS – Lithuania's Chief of Defense Valdemaras Rupsys met with his Icelandic counterpart, Bryndis Kjartansdottir, in Vilnius on Friday to discuss threats and joint projects and Iceland's contribution to NATO's forward presence battalion.
"It is symbolic that this visit comes after important decisions for Lithuania at the NATO summit," Rupsys said in a press release. "Iceland is one of the countries contributing to the bolstering of Lithuanian defense."
"We have always been grateful to Iceland for the recognition of Lithuania's independence, and now especially for its contribution to the NATO forward presence battalion deployed to Lithuania," he said.
Rupsys and Kjartansdottir, director general of the Directorate for Security and Defense of Iceland's Ministry for Foreign Affairs, who also performs the functions of chief of defense, also discussed Iceland's possible contribution to NATO Force Integration Unit Lithuania.
"The main purpose of my visit is to meet with representatives of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, as Lithuania and Iceland have been allies for many years," Kjartansdottir was quoted as saying in the press release.
"Iceland has also been contributing experts to the NATO forward presence battalion in Lithuania for some time now, and we intend to continue to participate in this mission," she added.
Iceland has no standing military of its own and ensures its national security through NATO membership and bilateral cooperation with the US.