Wednesday, April 27, Šiauliai – President Dalia Grybauskaitė greeted and took a closer look at the cutting-edge U.S. F-22 Raptor fighter jets which landed at the Lithuanian Air Force Base in Zokniai. The stealthy warplanes have touched down in Lithuania for the first time. This is one of the world’s most advanced military aircraft which is impossible to detect on radar.
According to the President, these fighter jets are of special significance to the Baltic countries as NATO’s collective defense and deterrence measure to ensure effective airspace defense and prevent a possible military isolation of the region.
Dalia Grybauskaitė underlined that the landing of F-22 Raptor fighter jets in Lithuania sent a very clear signal of the U.S. and NATO solidarity, showing that the Alliance was strongly committed to the defense of the Baltic countries. This is of particular relevance now when Russia is demonstrating aggressive and unpredictable behavior and is carrying out dangerous provocations against NATO ships and planes in international waters and airspace.
“As the Ukrainian example shows, Russia’s revanchism, aggressive military actions, the buildup of troops and weapons around our borders, and its political will to use force pose an existential threat to Lithuania. And a serious challenge to the Alliance. The landing of the most modern fighter jets on Lithuanian soil demonstrates that the United States can ensure swift and effective airspace defense. It is a strong signal that the Alliance is fully prepared and capable to counter any challenge or threat,” the President said.
The President pointed out that twelve years ago, Lithuania together with other six nations became part of the transatlantic community of shared values, mutual trust and solidarity. Since then, collective defense and strategic partnership with the United States have formed the essential core of Lithuanian security.
Lithuania is grateful to the United States for the resolve to consolidate its commitments to European security. The decision to substantially increase defense spending for European security, to send more troops and modern military equipment strengthens NATO’s deterrence posture in the Baltic countries and considerably increases the capability to respond quickly, timely and flexibly to threats in Europe, the President said.
Dalia Grybauskaitė also emphasized that Lithuania demonstrated that it could host, smoothly and effectively, sophisticated military forces and could properly provide the host nation support. Our country also further reinforces its defenses, increases defense spending and modernizes its military capabilities.
Last updated 2016.04.27 14:52Back