President of the Republic of Lithuania

NATO: more agile and better prepared

2018-07-11

Wednesday, July 11, Brussels – President Dalia Grybauskaitė together with other allied leaders agreed on joint measures that would significantly improve NATO's defense posture, including its ability to protect the eastern flank.

According to the President, NATO continues to stand united against Russian threat and keeps reinforcing its ability to respond. NATO's combat readiness is being increased, concrete reinforcements and equipment are in the make, deployment procedures are accelerated, and special teams are created to respond to hybrid threats.

Allied leaders adopted the Readiness Initiative aimed at creating high-readiness reinforcement forces by 2020 ready to be fully deployed within 30 days, in addition to NATO's Response Force. They will be comprised of 30 land battalions, 30 air fighter squadrons and 30 naval ships.

Leaders also agreed on reshaping the NATO command structure. Two new commands will be set up in the United States and Germany, the U.S. Ramstein Air Base in Germany will be reinforced and other command and control units will be modernized. Placing NATO structures nearer to emerging threats and to us, as well as ensuring NATO's rapid response in case of a crisis is key for the security of Lithuania.

NATO leaders took into account Lithuania’s needs. It was acknowledged that air defense over the Baltic States was inadequate. The summit mandated NATO's military leadership to evaluate the evolving risks and present proposals on further measures by mid-2019.

Military mobility was defined as a top priority. Allies committed themselves to facilitate and speed up military mobility procedures based on the standard agreed to by NATO and the European Union. By 2019, border crossing permits will be issued to military units within five days, with the objective of facilitating the procedure even further. Lithuania ranks as leader in this area. It issues diplomatic passes in 24 hours – the shortest timeframe in Europe.

It was agreed at the summit to improve, in cooperation with the European Union, road and rail networks as well as other civilian infrastructure, tailoring them to military needs. The EU's next multiannual financial framework will provide a total of 6.5 billion euros for this purpose. An estimated sum of 430 million euros would be required to deliver this project in Lithuania.

NATO is strengthening its response to hybrid threats by creating special teams. Regular consultations on resilience to political energy-related manipulation will be held at the NATO level. Allied leaders invited Macedonia to start negotiations on membership in NATO.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.07.11 17:14

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