The High-level Seminar held for a decade by the Ministry of National Defence for the Eastern Partners and their engagement in the EU Common Security and Defence Policy takes place in Vilnius today. It is attended by senior officials on behalf of Lithuania, Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine.
This year the High-level Seminar: the Refocused EU Efforts and the Level of Ambition on Cooperation with the Eastern Partnership Countries in Security and Defence Area focuses on the ideas and expectations of the new security architecture in the region, partnership in security and defence area, situation in Ukraine and the EU role in resolving tensions in the South Caucasus.
Vice Minister of National Defence Žilvinas Tomkus said opening the event that the security situation in the region presented quite a few challenges but at the same time it was important to prove to ourselves and the world again and again that we were able to withstand and adapt to any, be it extremely difficult situations.
“The Eastern Partnership Policy has expanded and adapted over the past year. I will repeat what many know beforehand: Ukraine is at war with Russia, part of Georgia is under occupation, Moldova is fighting off economic, energy and other kinds of Russian blackmail. The situation between Armenia and Azerbaijan remains fragile. At the same time we have positive signals of two Eastern partners about to enter formal talks to join the European Union. The Eastern Partnership and partners has always been a priority to Lithuania. We have and we will continue to support those countries,” said Vice Minister of National Defence.
Participants engaged in heated debates and shared insights about the current security situation, the situation in Ukraine and way forward for the region.
The annual event was attended by Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence of Moldova Valeriu Mija, First Deputy Minister of Defence of Georgia Lela Chikovani, Deputy Minister of Defence of Ukraine Yuriy Dzhygyr, representatives of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Ahead of the seminar, Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas met bilaterally with Ukraine’s Deputy minister of Defence Y. Dzhygyr. Their discussion focused significantly on anti-corruption and transparency in acquisitions. Vice Minister Ž. Tomkus met with First Deputy Minister of Defence L. Chikovani and signed a bilateral cooperation plan.
Photo credit: A.Pliadis/MoD