President of the Republic of Lithuania

Snow Meeting: scenarios for ensuring security in the region

2018-01-11

Thursday, January 11, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with the participants of the traditional Snow Meeting to discuss geopolitical challenges, European and transatlantic security.

The so-called Little Davos gathers prominent political and security experts from all over the world for annual informal discussions. Among the participants of the Snow Meeting this year were former Deputy Secretary General of NATO, Alexander Vershbow, former commander of the United States Army Europe, Lieutenant General Frederick Benjamin Hodges who contributed to stationing rotational forces in the Baltic States, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, international affairs expert Edward Lucas, and other influential analysts, journalists and political scientists.

Dalia Grybauskaitė underlined that Russia’s aggressive, openly anti-Western behavior had made Europe and the trans-Atlantic community to review their defense priorities and mobilize all capabilities to strengthen security.

The President pointed out that there were no objective preconditions for geopolitical tension to subside. Russia continues to restructure its military forces and armaments and to test offensive scenarios against the West. With the presidential election to be held in Russia this coming spring, it is clear that its anti-Western rhetoric will not change. Today Europe and NATO are faced with the ultimate task of deterring and countering the changing security threats.

According to the President, transatlantic security depends on the security of the Baltic states. Therefore, the next NATO summit scheduled for July will have to work out an effective reinforcement strategy, provide measures to prevent a possible military isolation of the region and ensure regional air defense. Dalia Grybauskaitė said that NATO had to be prepared for a rapid shift from a peace regime to a war regime and to carry out large scale collective defense operations. A fundamental reform of its headquarters was necessary for this purpose.

The President also stressed that the physical presence of U.S. military forces in the Baltic states was the cornerstone for deterrence and regional security. She said that geopolitical reality made EU countries invest more in their security and expand deffense cooperation without duplicating NATO’s role.

Snow meetings have been held for eleven years now. They provide an informal discussion platform for Lithuanian and foreign high ranking officials and experts to share their analytixal insights, which help our partners to better understand the specific security needs of our country and the region.                    

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.01.11 16:32

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