Minister of National Defence of Lithuania and U.S Secretary of Defence agreed to draft a long-term defence cooperation plan
“We have to ensure a comprehensive U.S support to Lithuania and the entire region. The United States of America is Lithuania’s key security partner which was reiterated by the meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defence James Mattis. The U.S. understands the scope and realness of our threats and the need to strengthen deterrence measures,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis said after the meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defence at the Pentagon on Wednesday.
The officials had a shared assessment of the Russian aggression against Ukraine in the Sea of Azov region, Russian violations of international law, and disregard of bilateral agreements it had signed itself. “Such actions from Russia only confirm the necessity of the additional NATO security measures in the Baltic region as well as the need to have them strengthened. For that reason we have agreed to sign a long-term cooperation plan with the U.S. which will define specific measures for strengthening deterrence in our region,” Minister said.
When addressing prospects of further bilateral cooperation the officials agreed to enhance the cooperation on intelligence, air defence, and cyber security areas. R. Karoblis also underscored that the U.S. military presence in Lithuania and the region was one of the cornerstones security guarantees to Lithuania.
“We respect and thank Lithuania for exemplary observance of defence financing commitment – it only proves again that even if a country is small like yours, it can still be an example to everyone else,” J. Mattis said at the meeting. He also thanked Lithuania for the substantial contribution to multinational operations.
During the official visit to the United States R. Karoblis also met with U.S. Senators and spoke at a closed CEPA (Center for European Policy Analysis) session on the security in our region. On Thursday R. Karoblis will visit the U.S. Special Operations Command and the U.S. Central Command, and participate in the Reagan National Defence Forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.