Lithuania in the News
7th September 2014
The NATO Summit in Wales Establishes Measures for Long-Term Security of Lithuania and the Baltic Region
The group photo of the world leaders meeting at the NATO Wales Summit
Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė is in front row (in white) and
Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is on third row on the right. Photo courtesy
At the recent NATO Summit in Wales, 4-5 September 2014, set against the background of continuing Russian aggression in Ukraine, Lithuania sought and succeeded in achieving strong long-term security guarantees for Lithuania and the Baltic region more generally, meant to deter potential aggressors. The Summit was attended by leaders of many countries, not just NATO. Lithuania was represented by President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Australia was represented by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. The Summit has been declared by commentators as one of the most significant in the 65 year history of the NATO Alliance.
Among the official outcomes of the Summit was the creation of a rapid reaction force, which could be quickly deployed to counter imminent threats. Another decision was the setting up of NATO command and control headquarters in Lithuania and the other Baltic States. The presence of NATO troops in the region is to be increased, with regular military exercises maintained to enforce defence readiness and practise interoperability. Enhanced air defences in the Baltic region to be sustained.
In Tallinn - President Dalia Grybauskaitė with the other
Baltic leaders meeting President Barack Obama. Photo courtesy
NATO defence chiefs will meet in Vilnius at the end of September to discuss the implementation of the new NATO defence plan, which now provides significant security measures for the Baltic region. Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė emphasised “that the measures approved in Wales meant not only reinforced Alliance defence capabilities, but also a very clear commitment to defend Lithuania and other Baltic countries in the event of a threat”. Lithuania has very good reason to be pleased by the outcomes of the Summit.
Just prior to the Summit, President Obama met the three Baltic Presidents in Tallinn in Estonia on September 3. The meeting’s emphasis was on Baltic-US cooperation in defence and security and President Obama's special presence in Tallinn just ahead of the NATO Summit sent a clear and unambiguous message to Russia. President Grybauskaitė declared: “United States has a profound interest in the territorial integrity and security of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. This was established in the Baltic Charter, signed by the four countries in 1998, and was reiterated in the political declaration of the U.S. and Baltic presidents last year in Washington”. President Obama continued to emphasise that the Baltic States will never have to stand alone, a very welcome message in these troubling times.

More information: 3-5/09/14, 3-5/09/14

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