(WARSAW) – Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė attended a meeting between the leaders of the region and U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday in Warsaw, Poland. The main aim of the meeting, attended by twelve heads of state of the Eastern and Central Europe, was to inform the U.S. President about threats and challenges faced by the region.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė informed the U.S. President directly of specific security situation in the region and Lithuania‘s defense needs.
According to President Dalia Grybauskaitė, active role of the U.S. is keystone for Pan-European security. In the face of military and non-conventional threat from Russia, the troops of the most powerful state in the world ‒ the U.S. ‒ and advance stationing of equipment in the region are the best measures of deterrence. According to the President, the contribution of the U.S. is paramount for ensuring regional air defense.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė underscored that the present geopolitical state and military tension were ongoing. Russia continues its active militarization: its military capacities in the Kaliningrad Region were increased substantially and the preparations are under way for aggressive military exercise Zapad 2017. Continuous cyber-attacks aimed at paralyzing strategic sectors of NATO member countries have become an integral part of Russia’s military planning. Russia allocates a billion dollars annually only for propaganda and the spread of fake news aimed at instigating societal tension and mistrust in NATO.
The Lithuanian head of state also took note of the American and regional presidents to the fact that Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the unsafe Astravyets NPP, which is under construction by Rosatom and which nuclear pollution may reach 16 European capitals in case of accident, are intended to be used by Russia as tools of non-conventional blackmail.
According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, the U.S. support in ensuring diversification of energy sources in the Baltic countries and in the entire Europe, successful synchronization of electricity grids and ridding of energy influence from Russia are of high importance to Lithuania and other countries of the region.
As of next month, Lithuania will start importing liquefied gas from the U.S. via Klaipėda terminal. Dalia Grybauskaitė said that this was a very important step in ensuring energy independence of the entire region.
During the discussion on cooperation in NATO, President Dalia Grybauskaitė underscored that the Alliance needed renewal. According to the President, Lithuania and other members need even more rapid and more efficient NATO. It is necessary to reform and to speed up decision-making, redeploy military forces and their management to the Eastern Flank of the Alliance, prepare continuously updated defense plans with attributed specific capacities, find solutions for precluding the possible military isolation of the Baltic States and include cyber-defense into Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
According to the President, Lithuania also actively contributes to the efforts of international community in fighting against terrorism. We are ready to send more soldiers to the U.S.-led anti-ISIS operation, continue our significant contribution to NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and UN mission in Mali.
(From the Press Service of the President of Lithuania)