“Maritime security is an integral part of national security. We are facing both, military and unconventional challenges in the domain, and it is particularly important to strengthen national capabilities to counter them,” underscored Vice Minister of National Defence Žilvinas Tomkus in his keynote address to participants of the conference on the Role of Maritime Strategy in the Prosperity of a Smaller Coastal State in Klaipėda.
The conference was hosted by the Lithuanian Navy on June 30–July 1 to discuss maritime strategy, maritime economy and security and relevance of such matters to Lithuania as a coastal state. Participants of the conference also discussed maritime history.
Vice Minister Ž. Tomkus underscored the importance of regional cooperation and intense participation in the different NATO formats to Lithuania in the area of maritime security, aiming to ensure sufficient readiness and interoperability with Allied capabilities of the Lithuanian Navy.
The event was attended by approx. 200 representatives of 17 NATO and partner nations. The Conference was one of the events marking the 30th anniversary of the Lithuanian Navy (re-established in 1992).
Lithuania as a coastal state:
With joining of Klaipėda Region with Lithuania in 1923, the country obtained a unique historical opportunity to become a coastal state. For the rest of the interwar period until the annexation of 1940 Lithuania was consistently moving in the direction of a coastal state: developed the seaport, established maritime companies formed the Navy, cherished a variety of sea-related cultural traditions.
In the independence period since 1990, hundreds of ships have already sailed under the Lithuanian flag, the Port of Klaipėda has been growing stronger and bigger. Today Lithuania already has maritime infrastructure and ships that make its name known around the globe, as well as a seaman training system that provides personnel for Lithuanian and international companies. And we have the Lithuanian Navy that protects and defends the maritime state interests.
Photo credits: Lithuanian Navy