VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda met with a delegation of US senators in Vilnius on Monday to discuss the agenda of the forthcoming NATO summit.
The Lithuanian leader stressed the importance of adoption of new defense plans during the summit, as well as the assignment of necessary capabilities to them, the presidential press service said.
Nauseda also spoke about Ukraine's invitation to join NATO.
"Now is the right time for strategic decisions. The invitation for Ukraine to join NATO would be our strategic responsibility and would firmly link Ukraine to the Euro-Atlantic security architecture. Ukraine deserves to be invited," the Lithuanian president said.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis also stressed the need for continued military support to Ukraine and urged the US to support Ukraine's NATO membership bid as he met with the senators.
“Now that Ukraine's prospects for NATO membership are being decided, it is essential that the whole Alliance comes together. Fifteen years ago, back in 2008, at the Bucharest Summit, the Alliance said that Ukraine would become a NATO member. Today, we should commit ourselves to creating the right conditions for this to happen,” the Lithuanian top diplomat said.
Nauseda also stressed that the US has an essential role for European security. He also thanked for the Baltic Security Initiative and the United States' continued and growing financial support for the Baltic defense needs.
"We are grateful for the permanent rotational presence of the US in our region," the Lithuanian president said. "We look forward to the Vilnius summit's decisions to further increase allied presence on the eastern flank, especially in the Baltic region, which is most exposed to the Russian threat."
The NATO summit in Vilnius will kick off on Tuesday.