The defense ministers of the Baltic States will seek to achieve permanent air patrolling missions over the airspace of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, the ministers agreed during a meeting in Vilnius on May 7, reports ELTA. “The air patrol missions only began after Lithuania joined NATO. At the moment, these missions have been extended until 2014. Our goal is to extend these missions even further until 2018,” said Lithuanian Defense Minister Rasa Jukneviciene. She pointed out that the U.S. has expressed support for permanent air patrolling missions; however, this has yet to be discussed with other partners. The Baltic defense ministers have decided to do this now, as they have announced the political desire to extend the air patrolling missions. Latvian and Estonian defense ministers Imants Liegis (Civic Union) and Jaak Aaviksoo emphasized that this mission is very important, as NATO’s presence is felt in the region. Taking into account that NATO’s main principle is solidarity, it would only be sensible to continue these missions.
President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite participated, for the first time, in the working session ‘Implementing the Europe 2020 Strategy: Key Next Steps,’ organized by the World Economic Forum, organizer of the Davos Forum, reports ELTA. The president and other European leaders discussed measures to be taken to promote economic recovery and ensure sustainable growth in the EU. “The Forum focused on the problems Europe faces, but this is not enough. These problems are international, global, whereas solutions, unfortunately, are national, taken on the level of individual states. Europe must stand united, adopt a common policy, coordinate actions and look for common solutions,” said Grybauskaite. She underlined that the economic growth in Europe was hampered by uneven development of infrastructure, especially in the field of energy. The development of both electricity connections and generation capacities is therefore a must.