The U.S. leadership role in NATO has acquired special significance in the face of growing security challenges, therefore, Lithuania is ready to work closely with the next U.S. administration. This was said by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius at a meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Brussels.
“The Alliance is increasingly threatened not only by Russia’s aggressive military actions, but also by its attempts to discredit democracies. For this purpose, Russia makes use of a wide range of hybrid instruments, ranging from disinformation and political corruption to cyber-attacks,” said Linkevičius at the Ministerial discussion on the Euro-Atlantic security and relations with Russia on 6 December.
According to him, in the face of these challenges, the unity of the Euro-Atlantic community, readiness to defend the values of democracy, human rights, the rule of law and the U.S. leadership role are more important than ever.
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister stressed that Lithuania was ready to work closely with the new U.S. administration in the fields of security and defense, economy, energy, and other relevant areas.
“The U.S. involvement in regional security affairs is the foundation stone of security in the Baltic states that significantly complements NATO’s efforts in the fields of collective defense and deterrence,” said Linkevičius.
The Ministers also discussed parameters of further dialogue with Russia in accordance with decisions of the NATO Summit in Warsaw.
According to Linkevičius, NATO could, firstly, exploit such a dialogue to raise concerns over Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine, its destabilizing military actions in the Alliance’s neighborhood and in other regions. Furthermore, such a dialogue cannot have a negative impact on efforts to strengthen security of NATO’s most vulnerable members.
At the meeting on 6-7 December, NATO’s Foreign Ministers issued a statement, which endorsed over 40 proposals to boost cooperation between NATO and the EU, including countering hybrid threats, cyber defense, joint exercise, support for partners and working together in other areas, according to the EU-NATO Joint Declaration signed on 8 July in the context of the Warsaw Summit.
At the session that was dedicated to the development of stability, the Ministers endorsed a set of recommendations on how to organize and to provide support for sustainable and long-term NATO activities in this area. The Ministers reached a consensus that NATO should contribute to long-term international efforts to prevent further destabilization of countries in the neighboring regions and to combat the threat of terrorism.
Linkevičius stressed the importance of solidarity and a 360-degree approach – NATO should be equally prepared to respond to threats to its east and south.
The meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of Foreign Ministers was held on 7 December. The meeting focused on the implementation of the Minsk agreements, the course of reforms in Ukraine and further development of the NATO-Ukraine partnership.
The meeting of NATO Allies and their Resolute Support Mission partners also took place. The participants discussed further activities in Afghanistan, the development of the NATO-Afghanistan partnership and support for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.