President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with the U.S. House Armed Services Committee chairman and its members to discuss military, economic and energy cooperation between Lithuania and the United States, the current security situation in Europe as well as the situation in Ukraine.
The President underlined that the United States was a reliable partner of Lithuania and that the two countries were bound by a strong relationship and intensive cooperation ties. The United States was contributing in a very concrete way to increasing the security of Lithuania: after Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the U.S. was the first to strengthen the Baltic Air Policing mission; it also sent troops for joint exercises.
Among the other issues discussed at the meeting was economic cooperation. The President pointed out that the free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States was a significant step towards stronger transatlantic economic relations and new opportunities for European and U.S. businesses. Opinions were also exchanged on the possibility of facilitating the import of liquefied natural gas from the United States to EU countries. This is particularly important for the European Union in diversifying energy sources.
The President stressed that the current security situation in Europe required maintaining a united Western response to the newly emerging challenges.
Five members from the U.S. House Armed Services Committee are visiting Lithuania: Chairman William McClellan Thornberry, Mike Rogers, Tom MacArthur, Steve Knight, and Seth Moulton.