Thursday, January 19, Vilnius - President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to discuss cooperation in the Alliance and the development of military security.
The President underlined that Lithuania's assignment to the responsible task of chairing NATO's Civilian Intelligence Committee this year demonstrated that Lithuania was contributing in a significant way to NATO and that it was being treated as a reliable, active and equal partner.
"Concrete collective security guarantees, the actual implementation of NATO's strategic concept and contingency plans, making certain that NATO's missile defense system protects all member states are the important issues to be addressed by the Alliance and Lithuania intends to be actively engaged in the process. Smart Defense will ensure security for all allies," the President said.
According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, modern times demand that military and financial resources be used effectively to produce the best possible results. NATO's vision of smart defense also pursues this particular goal. To achieve common security, each member state should give the Alliance the best it has and the best it can do, the President said.
She pointed out that with more intensive militarization activities in the Baltic neighborhood, NATO's visibility and presence in the region through air policing mission and military exercises was a strong sign of NATO's support. A long-term mission would certainly play an important role in the enhancement of security in the region.
"We will seek a political decision to extend the air policing mission in the Baltic States. Even more so because it is consistent with smart defense requirements predetermined by our times and the global crisis: to use defense funds as effectively as possible, to invest into quality, to strengthen integration within the Alliance and cooperation among its member states," the President said.
Among the other issues discussed at the meeting was closer cooperation between the allies in energy security matters, as provided for by NATO's Strategic Concept. President Grybauskaitė stressed that the Energy Security Center in Vilnius was a concrete expression of Lithuania's contribution to Smart Defense. Lithuania currently seeks its accreditation with NATO as the Center of Excellence for Energy Security.
The NATO summit to be held in Chicago next May was also touched upon at the meeting.
This is NATO Secretary General Rasmussen's second visit to Lithuania (the first was in October of 2009).
Last updated 2012.01.19 11:16Back