VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda continues his working visit to Germany and says it is important to create conditions for military aggression against Ukraine to be too costly.
On Thursday night, the president, together with the prime ministers of Latvia and Estonia, met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Nauseda expressed Lithuania's concern not only over Russia’s military build-up near Ukraine but also about the growing concentration of Russian troops in Belarus, the presidential press service said.
According to Nauseda, the allied commitment to increase military forces on NATO’s eastern flank "sends a signal of unity and strength and also reminds us that NATO’s security is indivisible".
Speaking to the heads of government of Latvia, Estonia and Germany, the Lithuanian president stressed that all allied action should now be directed towards effective deterrence. This, he said, could be done both by increasing military forces in the region and by providing for possible sanctions in advance.
"We have to create conditions that make military aggression against Ukraine too expensive," he said.
The Baltic leaders and the German chancellor also discussed economic cooperation between the countries through building new supply chains and industry alliances as well as through promoting investment.
Following the meting with the German chancellor, Nauseda said the chancellor had "truly good knowledge of the situation and is taking those threats developing near Ukraine's border very seriously and sees security links with the Baltic region".
"The conversation was very constructive. We spoke about ways to really help Ukraine and we spoke about a wide range of support, assistance, and we spoke, among other things, about moral support as is seems sometimes that our friends in Ukraine need moral support even more than other types of support," Nauseda said in a comment to Lithuanian media.
Russia now has over 100,000 troops and military equipment near Ukraine's borders, stoking fears in the West it plans to attack its neighbor, something that Moscow denies. Some of Russia's troops are now deployed in Belarus were joint army drills started on Thursday.
Moreover, Russia seeks to prevent countries like Ukraine and Georgia from joining NATP and wants NATO to reduce its military presence in Eastern Europe.
The Alliance, however, says it does not negotiate its fundamental principles, including the defense of all NATO allies and its open-door policy.