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NATO has to stand ready to respond to threats at no notice, Minister of National Defence R. Karoblis says


NATO Defence Ministers meeting in Brussels on October 3-4 focussed on measures for strengthening deterrence and defence. Ministers were briefed on the progress made on the implementation of the decisions taken at the NATO Heads of State and Government meeting in July earlier this year.


“NATO has to stand ready to respond to any threats to the security of Alliance countries at no notice. Russia has military capabilities assembled in Kaliningrad that would block NATO reinforcement in the event of crisis, thus time is the determining factor in the defence of the Baltic states,” Minister of National Defence R. Karoblis stressed.


NATO Defence Ministers also addressed progress made on increasing defence budgets and agreed to provide national plans consolidating the countries’ commitments by the end of 2018. R. Karoblis reaffirmed that Lithuania would budget 2 percent of GDP for defence before the end of the year, and presented the new agreement of parliamentary parties to allot 2.5 percent of GDP for defence by 2030. “Substantial extension of defence capabilities the security of all of us requires is not possible without the long-term increase in defence spending,” Minister of National Defence said.


Also, NATO and Georgian Defence Ministers met for the first time since February 2017. NATO Defence Ministers thanked Georgia for the active contribution to NATO operations and discussed cooperation on strengthening Georgia’s defence. Lithuania underscored that successful defence reforms have to eventually bring Georgia to NATO.


Next NATO Defence Ministers meeting will take place in February 2019.


Photo: courtesy of the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Lithuania to NATO LR nuolatinės atstovybės prie NATO nuotrauka

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