President Dalia Grybauskaitė

Germany will help strengthen the security of Lithuania

2016-04-20

Wednesday, April 20, Berlin – President Dalia Grybauskaitė, currently on a state visit to Germany, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed relevant bilateral, EU and NATO issues. The meeting placed special emphasis on the threat posed by Russia to the security of Europe and on NATO’s defense and deterrence measures to counter it, as well as on EU actions to tackle the migration crisis in the EU.

The President and the Chancellor discussed joint steps to ensure the security of Lithuania, Germany and the whole of the region and to take timely necessary defense and military deterrence measures.

“Provocations that show signs of hybrid warfare against NATO ships and planes in the Baltic Sea, Russia’s aggressive and unpredictable behavior, hostile propaganda which incites hatred and is against our societies, as well as cyber attacks – they all destroy peace and security in Europe. We will work together with Germany to strengthen NATO’s collective defense measures for the Baltic states in order to prevent any possible aggression,” the President said.

Dalia Grybauskaitė points out that Germany takes a leading role in the field of military cooperation and is becoming a very important security partner of Lithuania. Germany makes a significant contribution to ensure the security of Lithuania and the Baltic countries – it regularly rotates in the air policing mission and deploys rotational troops and equipment in our country. It also takes part in collective defense exercises in the Baltic countries. This year 600 German service personnel and several hundred units of military equipment will arrive in Lithuania. We purchase the most modern infantry fighting vehicles Boxer and self-propelled howitzers from German producers.

Lithuania and Germany closely cooperate ahead of the NATO summit due to take place in Warsaw in July which will seek the deployment of a battalion of the allied troops in each of the Baltic states, a brigade-sized military equipment unit in the region, air defense and other weaponry that would prevent a possible military isolation of the Baltic countries, as well as regularly updated defense plans tailored for real threat scenarios, and an accelerated decision-making mechanism.

The two countries are also bound by the goals of the fight against hostile propaganda. The German people, like those of Lithuania, have faced Russia’s aggressive lies and the incitement of hatred which promotes the radicalization of society and creates a favorable climate for terrorism and possible military intervention. It was agreed at the meeting to work together to develop objective media, pursue the exchange of journalists and young people and implement other preventive information security measures.

The President and Chancellor Angela Merkel exchanged views on measures to tackle the migration crisis. According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, Lithuania is well aware of the burden borne by Germany and acts in solidarity to support efforts to find an effective solution that is acceptable to all Europeans. However, solidarity must be sought through understanding and agreement rather than through force. Only an EU country can decide how many refugees it is able to take in and ensure their successful integration in the labor market and society as well as dignified living conditions.

Lithuania contributes within its means: it has begun the relocation of refugees, sent 25 officials to help Greece ensure control over the EU’s external borders and manage the migration flows, delivers financial and humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees who have found refuge in refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, as well as to various UN humanitarian programs and to the emergency trust fund for Africa.

The meeting also discussed energy and nuclear security. The Klaipėda LNG terminal was cited as a model example to secure energy independence. The President turned the Chancellor’s attention to the fact that the planned pipeline Nord Stream 2 is in contradiction with the EU’s energy union, increases dependence on Gazprom and provides it with an opportunity to blackmail the EU. It was also emphasized at the meeting that the Astravyets nuclear power plant in Belarus, which does not comply with international security requirements, poses a threat to people in the whole of the region. Having decided to stop its nuclear power, Germany supports Lithuania in raising nuclear security issues in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and within the framework of the Espoo Convention, as well as the European Commission’s calls to follow strict security requirements for nuclear projects developed in the EU’s neighborhood.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2016.04.21 09:03

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