Baltic and Polish Ministers of Defence agreed to further strengthen the cooperation in order to ensure deterrence and allied support

Press release from the Ministry of National Defence Republic of Lithuania

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 Joint Communique 

“The Baltic states and Poland are still the most vulnerable region at the eastern NATO border, therefore we have to continue strengthening our cooperation across all formats – bilateral, regional, NATO, and the EU, so that we can ensure an effective deterrence and mutual, as well as our allies’ support,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis said on December 16 at a meeting with Ministers of Defence of Estonia, Latvia, and Poland in Tallinn.

“Strengthening our capabilities, particularly regional air defence, as well as joint international exercises with our allies, honing defence plans, especially in involving our main transatlantic partner, the United States, are the key issues as we are seeking for a sustained strong deterrence and stronger defence,” R. Karoblis underscored.

Ministers also discussed the results of the NATO Leaders meeting in London: “We are happy with the results of the London meeting – the declaration states clearly that Russia poses a threat, we agreed on the approval of the regional defence plans, NATO has one again demonstrated solidarity and strength of commitments, however, it is still critical to ensure our further close cooperation,” R. Karoblis said. Ministers also agreed about the necessity to seek further and larger U.S. military presence in the region which is one of the most important factors of deterrence.

On December 17 Ministers will proceed with the Baltic Defence Ministers’ agenda. They are planned to discuss trilateral Baltic countries projects – development of a joint regional maritime awareness capability, special operations forces cooperation, etc.

The Ministers will wrap the meeting by signing a Joint Communique.

Cooperation with the other Baltic states is one of the main Lithuania’s international cooperation priorities. Baltic Defence Ministers and Chiefs of Defence are meeting biannually, Baltic Defence Policy Directors, Commanders of air, land, naval, special forces, and experts of various levels are meeting on a regular basis as well, to discuss political aspects of regional security, jointly develop practical cooperation projects, such as the Baltic Defence College, assignment of a joint Baltic unit to NATO forces, Baltic Air Surveillance Network and Control System, Baltic Naval Squadron. Further priorities of the Baltic Defence Cooperation are proposed at such meetings.

Photo credits: MoD delegation

Date of publication: 16 Dec 2019

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