Opinion: Lithuania 'vulnerable' but NATO presence can provide deterrent
Friday, February 12, 2016
One cannot choose one's neighbours. We have been assigned ours by history and geography. Lithuania has not been dealt a good hand. Although historic threats from Germany have retreated, Russia remains a dangerous neighbour. Lithuania will be vulnerable until Russia undergoes a radical transformation.
Defence ministers of NATO countries on Wednesday endorsed plans to step up the Alliance's military presence in Eastern Europe in response to Russia's actions, Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas said.
A recent announcement from Washington that the United States is giving a four-fold boost to its military spending in Europe has sent waves of joy through Lithuania, but it appears that most of the US military presence will be concentrated in Western Europe, which has the necessary infrastructure already in place to support American forces, rather than Eastern Europe.
US President Barack Obama is planning to substantially increase the deployment of heavy weapons and armoured vehicles in Lithuania and the Baltic States, and all along NATO’s eastern flank, to send a signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin, writes the New York Times.
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