VILNIUS – Russia will remain a threat hence it is necessary to beef up NATO’s eastern flank, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte has said.
“Unfortunately, Russia will remain a long-term security threat to the entire Euro-Atlantic community. Therefore, it is necessary for NATO to take without delay the relevant decisions on the strengthening of essential forces along the eastern flank of the Alliance, taking particularly into account the geographical specificities,” a press release from the government quoted Simonyte as saying after a remote conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and her Latvian and Estonian counterparts, Krisjanis Karins and Kaja Kallas, on Wednesday.
The Baltic countries and Poland are pushing for a decision at the forthcoming NATO summit in Madrid to convert the existing NATO battalions deployed in these countries into brigades.
Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz, who visited Vilnius on Tuesday, pledged to bolster the existing international NATO battalion stationed in Lithuania to a brigade-size unit.
Meanwhile, the Baltic and German leaders agreed to strengthen defense capabilities in all three Baltic States during their joint meeting on Tuesday.
During the conversation with NATO secretary general, Lithuanian prime minister stressed that the strong Alliance and robust transatlantic relations remained an essential security guarantee for the Baltic countries.