Lithuania in the News
8th April 2018
|Lithuania’s Diplomatic Triumph in Washington|
During the US – Baltic Summit in Washington last Tuesday, 3 April 2018, the Baltic States secured important security guarantees from the United States. The Summit was organised on Lithuania’s initiative. Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with US President Donald Trump before attending the Summit together with other Baltic leaders. In view of the prevailing geopolitical situation, the US – Baltic Summit generated of a great deal of media attention, despite competing major news stories.|
At the US-Baltic Summit. President Grybauskaitė (centre) opposite President Trump, second on the her right –
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius. Photo courtesy lrp.lt / photographer Robertas Dačkus
Lithuania’s Summit initiative had been carefully coordinated with the other Baltic States, as well as Poland and Ukraine. In keeping with Lithuania’s increasing stature as a regional leader, Lithuania was asked, according to sources, to be the spokesperson for Ukraine’s interests.
The US President and the Presidents of Baltic States strongly reaffirmed the core principle of NATO's defence: “All for one, one for all”, enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. This joint political declaration, together with other aspects of the Summit, coming ahead of a forthcoming meeting of President Trump with Russia’s President Putin, could be seen as a pointed reference to strong American support for the Baltic States, as part of the deterrence strategy against potential aggressors.
Presidents at the Summit press conference: (L-R) Raimonds Vėjonis (Latvia), Kersti Kaljulaid (Estonia),
Dalia Grybauskaitė (Lithuania), Donald Trump (USA). Photo courtesy lrp.lt / photographer Robertas Dačkus
Other important outcomes of the Summit included United States’ commitment to continue stationing forces in the Baltic States and to seek a solution to air defence. As President Grybauskaitė emphasised “Lithuania heard very concrete US guarantees. It means that the bond uniting us remains strong and that the security of the Baltic countries and the United States is indivisible”.
Cybersecurity, strategic communications, nuclear safety and energy security were other issues on which firm commitments to cooperate were made. United States has committed itself to establish a joint Cybersecurity Centre with Lithuania; this in parallel with an already functioning NATO Cybersecurity Centre in Estonia – again a reflection of Lithuania’s regional leadership.
President Grybauskaitė also visited the US Congress, attended the US-Baltic Business Summit and met up with the US Chamber of Commerce. An important memorandum on the importation of American LNG to Klaipėda was signed and significant trade contacts were made. The Lithuanian port of Klaipėda is more and more valued as the northernmost ice-free port on the Baltic Sea and is becoming a port of choice for America.