Thursday, December 29, Vilnius - President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with U.S. Senator John McCain, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Lindsey Graham, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Senator Amy Klobuchar, member of the Joint Economic Committee. The meeting focused on cooperation between Lithuania and the United States in defense matters, the implementation of the decisions made at the NATO summit in Warsaw as well as the security situation in Europe and the region.
The President underscored that Lithuania had full confidence in the United States of America - leader of the free and democratic world - which had repeatedly demonstrated its strong commitment, based on specific capabilities, to NATO’s collective defense. Given the changing geopolitical environment, the active role that the United States plays in Europe and the region continues to provide the most reliable security guarantees for the Baltic states and for the whole transatlantic community.
The U.S. Senators are very well aware of the threats facing the region and international security. Together we call for a principled response to countries that undermine international peace, support Ukraine, and understand the need to fight propaganda and other hybrid threats. The strategic partnership between Lithuania and the United States was reaffirmed when the three Baltic president and U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden issued a joint political declaration on enhanced cooperation in security and defense.
The President and the Senators reviewed the implementation of deterrence measures agreed at the NATO Warsaw Summit. Beginning early in 2017, multinational NATO battalion troops will start arriving in Lithuania. A rotational presence of a U.S. battalion is also planned. Lithuania consistently reinforces its capabilities by increasing spending for national defense, modernizing military forces and improving the infrastructure.
With the United States and Europe targeted by coordinated cyber attacks, a strong focus was placed on response to hacking. To ensure cyber security, the President said, it is necessary not only to strengthen data protection, but also to safeguard national computer networks from being attacked and to test regularly their resilience against hacking.
The President and the Senators also exchanged views on economic and energy cooperation between Lithuania and the United States. Next year, Lithuania plans to purchase liquefied natural gas from U.S. companies.
The Senators visiting Lithuania work in influential committees on armed services, economics and the budget which shape policies and spending for national defense.
Last updated 2016.12.29 14:30Back