President of the Republic of Lithuania

Congress’ support for Lithuania’s aims at the NATO summit


Wednesday, April 4, Washington, D.C. – In Washington, President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Congressman John Shimkus of Lithuanian descent, co-chair of the House Baltic Caucus of the United States House of Representatives.

At the meeting, cooperation between Lithuania and the U.S. in the areas of security, defense and energy was discussed.

The role of the Congress is paramount in taking decisions on direct U.S. military and financial assistance for the defense of the Baltic states. The Congress gives final approval for the funding of the European Deterrence Initiative. This is a financial program for ensuring the deployment of U.S. troops and equipment in Europe, for carrying out exercises and improving military infrastructure.

This year, the U.S. has increased the funding for this program by one third, allocating 4.7 billion dollars for it. Another one-third funding increase is planned for next year.

John Shimkus strongly supported Lithuania’s aims in the run-up to the NATO summit. Lithuania aims to secure the support of U.S. and other allies in ensuring an effective NATO strategy to reinforce the Baltic states in the event of crisis, regional air defense, detailed defense plans that are in line with real threats, and rapid decision making.

The export of American liquefied natural gas, which is very significant to Lithuania for ensuring safe and diversified supplies and eliminating Russia’s influence over domestic political processes, was discussed at the meeting. Lithuania was one of the first to start bringing American gas via the Klaipėda terminal. During the President’s visit to Washington, Lithuania’s Klaipėdos Nafta signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. company Freeport LNG, which will open new possibilities for liquefied natural gas supplies in the future.

The President and the Congressman also discussed cooperation in cyber security and fighting hostile propaganda as well as sanctions against Russia. In August 2017, the Congress passed a bill on sanctions that allows tightening sanctions on Russia.

John Shimkus leads the House Baltic Caucus. It is comprised of 74 members and contributes to raising matters of importance to all Baltic states at the U.S. Congress. The Congressman has been awarded the Cross of Commander of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas for merits to Lithuania.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.04.05 11:44