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Russia remains to be a threat, therefore strengthening deterrence and defence at the eastern border of the Alliance is essential, R. Karoblis says

“Lithuania firmly upholds the commitment to allot at least 2 percent of GDP for defence and has all mechanisms in place that will ensure additional national defence funding if the economy grows at a faster pace than forecasted,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis said at the NATO Defence Ministers meeting in Brussels today. Burden-sharing will be high on the agenda of the NATO Summit in London on December 3–4 later this year, therefore preparation for it by ensuring that the decisions on defence funding commitment taken in Wales are implemented, was among the most topical themes of this NATO Defence Ministers’ meeting.

The Ministers also discussed security threats and challenges the Alliance was facing, as well as other relevant aspects of deterrence and defence. “Russia remains to be the main security threat in our region, therefore strengthening NATO deterrence and defence and implementing security measures, especially by the eastern border of the Alliance, is essential,” R. Karoblis said urging to implement the NATO decisions concerning a quick and reliable reinforcement. He underscored once again that the Baltic states were really vulnerable in terms of air defence, for which reason Lithuania was seeking to have the NATO measures for strengthening air defence in the Baltic states implemented, first of all, regular exercises, proper planning and procedures covering effective and timely air defence in the event of a crisis or conflict.

The meeting also addressed implementation of the decisions taken at other NATO Summits, one of the most important of which is the NATO Readiness Initiative agreed to in Brussels in 2018. The Ministers reviewed the progress made, results achieved, and identified areas of the NATO Readiness Initiative in need of more progress. It is expected that NATO allies will assign the capabilities for the implementation of the Initiative before the NATO Summit in December. Its implementation will step up readiness of NATO land, air, and maritime forces, as well as NATO ability to respond quickly in case of a crisis or conflict. “It is a very important initiative to which Lithuania will contribute corresponding capabilities,” R. Karoblis said.

Photo credit: NATO

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