On June 17 Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis took part in the video teleconference NATO Defence Ministers meeting which focused on measures for further fortifying deterrence and defence, and NATO operations and missions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Ministers of Defence agreed the main principles and guidelines for ensuring Euro-Atlantic deterrence and defence so as to sustain the Alliance’s readiness to respond to security threats.
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the conventional threats are still around. It is relevant to our region too. Therefore we agree to measures and actions that are aimed at strengthening security and defence of the Alliance,” Minister R. Karoblis said.
NATO Ministers of Defence discussed the missile threat presented to the Alliance by Russia and agreed that the Alliance had to remain prepared to counter the security threats it was faced with. Russia continues developing conventional and nuclear payload-capable missiles. NATO Defence Ministers agreed that air and missile defence had to be strengthened, exercises adapted, intelligence stepped up, and development of relevant conventional capabilities ensured.
“Russia continues posing a threat to European and NATO security by developing and deploying dual-capable missiles. The Alliance has to maintain the capacity to respond in a relevant manner,” Minister of National Defence R. Karoblis said.
Ministers also discussed the operations and missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. It was agreed to adapt the Operation in Iraq in accordance with the new military guidelines while retaining the baseline parameters.
Ministers also addressed the political and security situation in Afghanistan and the peace process. NATO had agreed to reduce troop numbers from 16,000 to 12,000 as of July 13. Further decisions will be based on the results of the Afghan-led peace process. Approximately 25 Lithuanian soldiers are currently deployed to the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan.