Speaking at Monday’s Bucharest Nine virtual summit, President Gitanas Nausėda addressed B9 leaders, U.S. President Joe Biden and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, emphasizing that the security challenges and threats posed by Russia required NATO allies and partners to place increased focus on credible deterrence and defense.
The President pointed out that Russia’s unprecedented military build-up on the Ukrainian border only confirmed that it did not intend to abandon aggressive behavior and continued to threaten their sovereignty and territorial integrity in order to intimidate neighboring countries.
“Russia remains the key long-term threat to NATO,” the President said, stressing that the Alliance would only overcome challenges through unity, solidarity and resolve.
Gitanas Nausėda underscored the indispensable significance of the transatlantic bond. Europe cannot stay united and secure without U.S. involvement: the presence of American troops in the Baltic and Black Sea regions is the strongest deterrent.
The President pointed out that Russia’s growing military threats could only be offset by sufficient NATO defense and deterrence capabilities on the eastern flank. It means that NATO countries must continue to invest consistently in defense.
Gitanas Nausėda said that Lithuania would continue to take care of own security by increasing defense spending to 2.5 percent of GDP by 2030 It will also boost expenditure on military equipment, infrastructure and host nation support.
The President expressed hope that principled decisions would be made at the NATO summit in Brussels next June, which were necessary for the Alliance to adapt to the ongoing changes in the complex security environment and to ensure indivisible collective defense.
“The NATO 2030 process will allow us to build an effective deterrence and defense architecture with the necessary resources. We need to remain vigilant, to keep focus on the threats posed by Russia, to build a stronger transatlantic link, to increase defense budgets and common funding, and to reinvigorate NATO’s Open Door policy,” the President said.
Gitanas Nausėda urged the Bucharest Nine countries to actively support the Enhanced Opportunities Partners – Ukraine and Georgia – and to help them realize their euroatlantic aspirations through membership in NATO. He stressed that Ukraine – which was still suffering from Russian aggression – was in special need of NATO’s support and assistance.
The President asked the participants to support Lithuania’s bid to host the 2023 NATO Summit in Vilnius.
The Bucharest Nine includes NATO eastern flank countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary.
Last updated 2021.05.10 22:24Back