L. Linkevičius: NATO must continue to strengthen its deterrence and defense posture, with special focus on the Baltic Sea region
On 16 February in Munich, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius participated in a discussion dedicated to the strengthening of security in the Baltic states.
According to the Lithuanian Foreign Minister, we mark the second anniversary of the deployment of NATO’s enhanced forward presence battalion in Lithuania this month, which is testimony of the NATO ability to respond quickly to changes in the security environment and shows strong allied solidarity.
However, according to L. Linkevičius, a violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and Russia’s other aggressive actions that have destroyed stability and eroded confidence in Europe must be carefully assessed. For this reason, we have to focus on the resulting security consequences and take all the necessary steps to strengthen NATO's capabilities to deter and defend where they are needed.
“The Baltic Sea Region is still vulnerable. Russia continues its militarization of the Kaliningrad Region, deploys new missile systems, and organizes a tank regiment. The Zapad maneuvers are aimed at testing massive military movements on the West’s doorstep. In the light of this evidence, we must be prepared for all scenarios,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister.
He stressed the importance of the implementation of decisions made at the Brussels Summit, in particular as regards the maintenance of the Alliance's higher readiness and an accelerated arrival of allied help in the event of an emergency, including in the Baltic states. In addition, we must also address issues related to our air defense and ensure the freedom of operation for NATO troops in the eastern flank of the Alliance.
"We believe that the deployment of the additional U.S. and other allied forces in our region would contribute to strengthening NATO's efforts," said L. Linkevičius.
For more information about the Munich Security Conference 2019, please read here.