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WASHINGTON D.C. – Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with President Donald Trump and together with the Presidents of Latvia and Estonia attended the summit meeting of the Baltic countries and the United States in the White House.
Taking part in the summit meeting were also U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and Acting Secretary of State John J. Sullivan.
The four presidents adopted a joint political declaration reaffirming the ironclad commitment of all four countries to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which defines the core principle of NATO’s defense: All for one, one for all.
The United States commits to continue the deployment of forces to the Baltic States. It was also agreed to explore and find solutions to air defense, bilaterally and in NATO.
“Lithuania heard very concrete U.S. guarantees. It means that the bond uniting us remains strong and that the security of the Baltic countries and the United States is indivisible,” the President underlined.
According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, active and clearly visible U.S. engagement and military presence in the region is in the vital interest of Lithuania. The results of today’s meeting show that in case of crisis, Lithuania can expect America’s military support not only within the framework of NATO, but also on a direct bilateral basis.
Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and the United States will also join efforts to pursue common interests at the NATO summit scheduled for July in Brussels. They will contribute to strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defense, modernizing national territorial defense capabilities and developing the infrastructure of host countries.
The President emphasized that Lithuania was consistently delivering on its international commitment to increase defense spending. Our country, like the other Baltic States, exceeded its NATO obligation to allocate 2% of GDP for national defense this year.
Lithuania is also engaged in international efforts to ensure stability and combat terrorism. This year, the number of Lithuanian soldiers taking part in NATO, EU and UN operations has been increased by one third. Lithuanian soldiers are deployed to operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali, Central African Republic, Kosovo, Ukraine, and EU maritime missions Sophia and Atalanta.
Among the other issues discussed at the meeting was energy security and options for importing U.S. gas. Lithuania was among the first countries in Europe to bring gas from the United States via the Klaipėda terminal. It is a very important factor for ensuring safe and diversified supplies and eliminating Gazprom’s influence over domestic political processes. During the President’s visit to Washington, Lithuania’s Klaipėdos Nafta and Lietuvos Dujų Tiekimas will sign memorandums with the U.S. company Freeport LNG on cooperation in the field of liquefied natural gas.
During the visit, special note was made of Nord Stream 2 – an offshore pipeline constructed across the Baltic Sea. The President pointed out that it was a geopolitical project aimed at increasing EU’s dependence on Russian gas. The United States took a principled position and introduced strict sanctions against the companies implementing this project.
The Baltic countries and the United States will actively cooperate in cyber security, strategic communications and nuclear safety. The four presidents also discussed the situation in Ukraine and related assistance issues.
Office of the President of Lithuania