President of the Republic of Lithuania

Strong NATO and reliable defence is in the interest of Lithuania

2014-05-30

Friday, May 30, Vilnius - President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with the Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen to discuss the security situation in the region, enhanced cooperation among NATO member countries, and preparations for the NATO summit scheduled for early September in Wales.

The President awarded NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen with the Grand Cross of the Order of Vytautas the Great for merits to Lithuania in enhancing its security. This is one of the state's highest awards.

"Lithuania has a reliable friend and highly values NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen's personal contribution to strengthening defence of our country and the entire Baltic region. His innovative and vigorous leadership helped consolidate the Alliance members, develop specific NATO contingency plans and respond swiftly to new threats in the region," the President underlined.

According to the President, in the face of brutal demonstration of power Lithuania which marks the tenth anniversary of its NATO membership this year is reassured that it has real collective defence guarantees: NATO and Allies have doubled the air policing mission and elite troops arrived for military exercises in Lithuania.

The President and NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen exchanged views on preparations for the upcoming NATO summit in Wales, UK.

Russian actions show that NATO must be ready to counter new threats, the President said. Therefore, it is necessary to review defence plans, enhance the rapid response capacity, ensure effective defence and protection of all Allies, as well as to place greater focus on information, cyber and energy security.

"Lithuania understands that reciprocal commitments are needed to ensure reliable defence; therefore it will raise defence funding this year. Investments in security are investments in freedom and prosperity of the country," the President underlined.

Lithuania has set itself the objective of increasing defence spending each year to reach 2% of the GDP by 2020.

According to President Grybauskaitė, reinforced NATO presence and regular military exercises and training in the Baltic states are very important for Lithuania.

Copyright - R. Dačkus 

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2014.05.30 15:59

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