On November 18-19 Minister of National Defence A. Anušauskas attended the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada where he had a meeting with Minister of National Defence of Canada B. Blair who was appointed in summer. The officials addressed Canada’s contribution to the Baltic security and defence and bilateral cooperation. The Canadian Defence Minister reiterated Canada’s resolve to invest more capabilities in the security in the eastern flank.
According to Minister B. Blair, as one of NATO founders, Canada takes collective defence very seriously and therefore doubles-plus eFP contingent in Latvia and collaborates on cyber security. B. Blair underscored that Canada should and would do even more for security in the eastern flank because Allies’ cooperation had never been so critical. According to him, despite the physical distance over the Atlantic between the Allies, Canada is under no illusion and knows well that European security is Canadian security.
A. Anušauskas noted at the meeting that the contributions from Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom were obviously significant and boosted deterrence but the decisions taken at the NATO Summit in Vilnius on the regional defence plans needed to be implemented faster, especially the Rotational Air Defence Model. Minister also invited Canada to join the demining of Ukraine coalition formed by Lithuania.
“The International Halifax Security Forum today focusses on the war in Ukraine. Even though more conflicts appear and more security challenges hit the world, our, Allied, assistance to Ukraine must remain solid, consistent and leading to victory. We have to be united in support of Ukraine’s aspiration to become a member of NATO,” said A. Anušauskas.
A. Anušauskas extended to the Canadian counterpart a formal visit invitation to Lithuania, thanked for the Canadian capabilities dedicated to the NATO Air Policing Mission, assistance in the Baltic Defence College activities, and the decision to open the Embassy of Canada in Vilnius. According to Minister, it clearly shows the growing cooperation.
Photo credit: MoD