Saturday, April 26, Šiauliai - President Dalia Grybauskaitė took part in the welcome ceremony for the U.S. ground forces at the Lithuanian Air Base in Šiauliai. The United States - a NATO ally - has sent its land troops to Lithuania in response to the threats posed to the region by the Russian intervention in Ukraine.
Following Dalia Grybauskaitė's talks with U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, 150 American soldiers have arrived in Lithuania for deployment until the end of the year. The contingent will engage in exercises and training activities with Lithuanian troops to enhance combat preparedness, collective defense capability and interoperability in the event of real threat.
The President underlined that the arrival of U.S. troops confirmed that we are not alone with an unpredictable neighbor and that Lithuania's freedom and security were important to our partners.
"It is a day of great importance for Lithuania. In the event of real threat, we see our true friends. The presence of U.S. military forces in Lithuania contributes to the security of all of us. It deters those who find our values alien, who put stability in Europe and peace in the region at risk. Acting together with Americans, we will increase our readiness to defend our homeland and all Lithuanian citizens. Everything that Lithuania needs today is reflected in your motto - the motto of the Land Forces: "Strong in unity, victorious in belief!" the President said.
Fast and practical assistance as well as enhanced capacities in the Baltic States and Poland are definite proof that the allies take security threats to the region seriously and responsibly and that they stand by their commitments, the President noted.
Dalia Grybauskaitė emphasized that Lithuania has already ensured itself wide-ranging allied reinforcement. At the present moment, 10 U.S. fighter jets are stationed in Šiauliai for the Baltic air policing mission, NATO minesweepers are deployed for Baltic Sea patrol, and today ground forces are also in place.
About 600 soldiers are being deployed in the Baltic States and Poland by the allies in response to the request for a stronger NATO presence in the region.
Copyright - R. Dačkus
Last updated 2014.04.26 09:43Back