NATO plans based on common understanding of threat – Lithuanian defense chief

  • 2023-06-13
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – NATO's defense plans are based on a common understanding of the threat, Lithuania's Chief of Defense Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupsys has said. 

"NATO's principle now is that we have to understand the threat in the same way. It means that everyone – both the 31 (member) countries and the main strategic military headquarters – understands and assesses the threat in the same way," Rupsys told LRT TV on Monday. 

"This is the starting point in making plans, so the understanding of the threat is now clear at the military level, and all of us, from the southern flank to the northern states, also understand that Russia is the main threat, and that, of course, we must be watchful and be prepared for other threats as well," he said. 

The general confirmed that NATO member countries' representatives are expected to finalize new regional defense plans this week. 

"It will still take some time before they are approved," he said, adding that "we will definitely have these plans in place by the NATO summit" in Vilnius in mid-July. 

NATO's new defense plans for the Baltic states and Poland were drawn up some time ago in response to the increased threat from Russia following its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

In a reflection of the Alliance's changing strategy, the plans basically provide for defense from the first days of a potential conflict. Previously, the approach was that the Baltic countries should try to hold off a Russian offensive until allied reinforcements can arrive to help them.