U.S. politicians have a unified view on stronger deterrence in Europe and the Baltic States
April 13, at a meeting with Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas Chairman of U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services Senator John McCain and his Deputy, Senator Jack Reed, reiterated that the U.S. Congress and Senate would approve the USD 3.4 billion European Reassurance Initiative for 2017.
In this as well as in others meetings with representatives of the Senate and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Minister J.Olekas received firm back-up and understanding of the complexity of the security situation. U.S officials were interested in what additional enhancement could be contributed to Lithuania’s security. “Lithuania is a staunch partner of the U.S. and the whole Alliance who has proved it solidarity in Afghanistan and Iraq. We place high value on your defence commitments and the increasing defence financing,” Senator J. McCain said.
Minister J.Olekas thanked for the U.S. decisions that were stepping up the efficiency of the U.S. military presence in the region. “Continued maintenance of U.S. forces and modern heavy equipment, enhanced cooperation regarding air defence and other critical capabilities are the essential elements of deterrence in our region,” Minister J.Olekas said.
At the meeting with the U.S. officials Minister J.Olekas also said that U.S. presence and support is an inseparable part of the security of our region, while the leadership the U.S. demonstrated in the enhancement of deterrence was an important step for taking decisions concerning stronger military presence of the Alliance in Lithuania and along the eastern NATO border at the EU Summit in Warsaw. “We are ready for sharing the burden with the Alliance and rendering full Host Nation Support, and to continue refining the conditions for NATO training and accommodation of allied forces,” Minister of National Defence J.Olekas said.
Today, April 14, Minister J.Olekas will attend a conference on defence and deterrence on the eastern flank of NATO which is arranged by the Atlantic Council Analytical Center of the United States and the Ministry of National Defence of the Republic Of Lithuania. The event will also be attended by U.S. senators and representatives of the Department of Defence.