VILNIUS - The regional security situation is deteriorating due to the ongoing partial mobilization in Russia, but the military threat level remains unchanged, Kestutis Budrys, an adviser to the Lithuanian president, says.
His comment followed a Monday meeting of Lithuanian State Defense Council.
"We view the situation in the region s deteriorating as a result of this, but the military threat level remains unchanged. We view it as low," Budrys said, adding that Russia is deliberately escalating the situation.
By mobilizing troops and organizing so-called referendums in the occupied territories of Ukraine, Russia is "deliberately escalating the situation and increasing tensions in the region", he said.
"All actions from the Russian side are primarily aimed at changing the situation in Ukraine," the adviser said.
In his words, SDC members listened to the information provided by intelligence and internal service officials on the existing situation on the border with Russia and Belarus.
"As you know, there's a lot of concern in Kaliningrad and other regions in Russia over the announced mobilization, but we don’t this being reflected in efforts to cross into Lithuania," Budrys said.
Speaking about barring Russian deserters from entering Lithuania, the presidential adviser said President Nauseda's position has not changed, stating that deserter should not be allowed in Lithuania just because they are avoiding military service.
SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE
Asked about the possible transfer of additional arms to Ukraine, Budrys said the issue was not discussed during the Monday meeting.
However, he stressed, participants were informed about the already provided support, adding that responsible authorities are now looking into the possibility of providing further support to Kyiv.
"A decision needs wider military advice, an assessment on the impact on Lithuania's defense capability and the financial justification," he said. "We will get back to this issue later."
Lithuania is talking with Ukraine about "all the weapon systems mentioned in media reports Ukraine", the presidential adviser said.
Citing three sources, the 15min news website reported on Monday that Kyiv had asked Vilnius to share some of its modern weapons, including German Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled howitzers, a Norwegian NASAMS air defense system and also send more American M113 armored vehicles.
The SDC also discussed the situation around Minsk regime officers "deliberately violating NATO's state border" by damaging the existing physical barrier on the border with Belarus, Budrys said.
"This is very serious," he said.
In his words, the SDC agreed that the Ministries of National Defense and the Interior would review the existing state border cover plan and it should be updated shortly.
"It should include specific indicators for monitoring changes in the security situation and the criteria for when and to what extent the forces of other institutions are deployed to help secure the border," the presidential adviser said, adding that this is a provocation by Belarus against Lithuania.
The physical barrier has been damaged several hundred times this year, including several dozen times when that was done by officers of the Minsk regime, Budrys said.