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Minister of National Defence R. Karoblis welcomes the U.S. decision to deploy more troops in Poland and urges to make decisions concerning air defence and defence planning

“We welcome the decision of the United States of America to increase the number of U.S. troops in Poland — this step is of extraordinary importance in strengthening deterrence in our region. However, we have to keep working on solving the issues of air defence and rapid deployment of allied forces into the Baltic region side by side with the U.S. and the Alliance,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis said today in Gdansk, Poland, at a meeting with the Helsinki Commission of the U.S. Congress. The U.S. Government agency analyses issues of strengthening security and provides recommendations on the matter, as well as works on strengthening the security and defence cooperation of the U.S. and European countries.

The meeting in Gdansk was a historical one — the Commission gathered outside of the United States for the first time in 43 years, and the first field hearing held over that period of time was dedicated exclusively to matters of strengthening the security of the Baltic states and Poland. The Commission which consists of 9 members from the U.S. House of Representatives, 9 members from the United States Senate, and one member each from the Department of State, Department of Defense, and the Department of Commerce, have reiterated the U.S. commitment to a stronger security in the Baltic Sea region. Chairman of the Commission Senator Roger F. Wicker assured that both Houses were in firm support of NATO and the field hearing in the Baltic region demonstrated a particular regard to the Alliance’s most vulnerable members. He also underscored the commitment of NATO allies to ensure a proper defence spending.

R. Karoblis was invited to the U.S. Helsinki Committee meeting to share insights on the security situation in the region. According to Minister, such meetings present a unique opportunity to discuss the defensive U.S. support issues of concern to Lithuania directly in an informal environment with the immediate U.S. defence policy shapers and decision-makers. The U.S. Congress allotted additional USD 100 million of assistance to the Baltic countries last year, the amount is expected to remain the same this year too.

Other participants of the meetings were high state officials and armed forces’ representatives of Estonia, Poland, Finland, Sweden, NATO.

The meeting also addressed the effectiveness s of the current NATO deterrence measures in the Baltic states, implementation of the Trans-Atlantic security architecture, aggression of the Kremlin, hybrid and other security threats.

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