The U.S. leadership is important for Lithuanian security
Dalia Grybauskaitė met with U.S. Senator Richard Durbin. The President and the Senator discussed challenges to regional and transatlantic security, defense cooperation between Lithuania and the United States and strengthening the transatlantic bond.
According to the President, the U.S. troops and military equipment deployed in the Baltic region are an important and reliable deterrence ensuring the security of Lithuania and the entire Alliance.
An American military unit and equipment are already stationed in Lithuania; a U.S. brigade, is deployed in Poland that would also stand for Lithuania, if necessary. The presence of NATO allies in our country is viewed positively by 81% of the Lithuanian population.
However, with geopolitical tension ongoing, it is crucial to continue enhancing NATO’s capacity to deter and respond to threats: speed-up the decision making process, regularly update defense plans, and establish regional air defense, the President underscored. To this regard, it is very important for the United States to play an active role as well as for each country to ensure adequate defense spending.
Lithuania is among the NATO member states which have most rapidly increased their defense spending. It is estimated that Lithuania will reach the 2% GDP defense spending target, as agreed by NATO member states, next year.
Cooperation in countering hybrid threats was also on the meeting agenda. Both sides of the Atlantic face escalating attempts to instigate national discord and distrust in democratic values as well as multiple attacks against free elections. According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, the role of the U.S. Senate is paramount in strengthening transatlantic efforts to counter information and cyber-attacks.
The President underscored that the unwavering support of the U.S. Senate to Ukraine, its sovereignty and integrity was crucial for the continuation of the high-principled stance of the transatlantic community on Russian sanctions.