President of the Republic of Lithuania

Necessity to boost NATO’s readiness

2018-06-08

Friday, June 8, Warsaw, Poland President Dalia Grybauskaitė attended a summit of nine presidents of the Baltic and Central European countries, also known as the Bucharest Nine, in Warsaw.

The leaders adopted a political declaration stating an agreement to pursue common objectives and further boost defense of the Alliance’s Eastern flank in the upcoming NATO summit.

The President underscored that a rapid, prepared and modern NATO was the best deterrence from any aggression.

NATO has to be present where threats arise. Last year, Russia widely tested aggressive, conventional, hybrid and nuclear forces against the West during its military exercise Zapad 2017. Therefore, now, the main objective is to reform NATO’s defense immediately beginning from boosting the Eastern Flank.

The joint declaration of the Bucharest Nine leaders expresses strong support for Lithuania’s aims to secure regional NATO’s missile defense shield. A necessity to develop the Alliance’s reinforcement strategy with indicated specific capabilities and measures to prevent possible isolation of the Baltic states was stressed. A need to eliminate obstacles to military mobility and implement the reform of the Alliance’s commands was highlighted. Lithuania also aims to speed up NATO’s decision-making process.

The leaders should take final decisions on the reform of commands and headquarters in the NATO summit to be held in Brussels in July. It is planned to establish two additional commands in the U.S. and Germany to ensure faster arrival of allied military reinforcement in the event of crisis.

Lithuania supports American proposal on the enhanced readiness initiative that foresees, in the event of crisis, the arrival of NATO’s reinforcement forces – 30 battalions, 30 aviation squadrons and 30 navy ships – within 30 days in support of the NATO’s Response Force. The forces would have to be operational in 2020.

The format of cooperation between the presidents of nine states – the Bucharest Nine – was born in 2015 in the run up to the Warsaw Summit with the aim to defend common reginal security interests better and to secure reliable deterrence.  The presidents of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania meet each year before every NATO summit.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.06.12 17:05

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