Lithuanian formin, NATO secgen discuss Baltic security issues

  • 2021-01-26
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis visited NATO headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday and met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. It was their first meeting after Landsbergis assumed the ministerial position.

According to the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, the ministers stressed during the meeting that NATO was an indispensable guarantor of the Baltic region and Euro-Atlantic space's security. The security environment of the Baltic region remains dynamic. Security challenges have not diminished. Therefore, it is necessary to continue to adapt and strengthen the Alliance's deterrence and defense posture along its eastern flank, as agreed by the allies.

The minister also confirmed that confirmed that Lithuania would abide by its commitments to strengthen its security and defense, and, at the same time, would continue contributing to international security.

"It is important that during the COVID-19 crisis both NATO and its allies are able to give due attention to security and defense issues. As a reliable ally, Lithuania remains steadfast in its commitment to upholding the principle of a fair burden sharing among allies. Our country will continue to strengthen national security and defense, and will further contribute to NATO, other international operations, and missions," Landsbergis said.

The Lithuanian foreign minister also noted that a strong transatlantic link was a prerequisite for a strong Alliance. Lithuania will make every effort to foster this bond.

A German-led NATO battalion has been stationed in Lithuania since 2017. Lithuanian government representatives have been recently asking allies to bolster regional air defense and ensure faster force deployment in the even of a crisis.

While in Brussels, Landsbergis also met with Sir Stuart Peach, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, and they discussed military threats in the Baltic region.

The minister stressed that in light of a fragility of the Baltic region, greater progress had to be made in the implementation of the decisions taken at NATO summit meetings to beef up its forces and air defense.

After holding the meetings at NATO headquarters, the foreign minister will leave for a two-day visit to France. In Paris, Landsbergis will attend the first meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Baltic states and France in the “3 + 1” format, will open a virtual discussion on the EU and Belarus, will meet with the leaders of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and will visit the Shoah Memorial.