Lithuanian National Defence Minister Juozas Olekas says that Russia would make a great mistake if it decided to cross the borders of any of the NATO members.
Juozas Olekas
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

During the Seimas conference entitled Second Decade of Lithuania's NATO Membership: What Will Determine the Successful Continuation of our History?, Minister Olekas stressed that NATO's principle of collective defence in the light of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine is more important than ever before.

However, according to him, if Lithuania expects help from its allies it should first of all contribute to the initiatives of NATO and other international organisations which seek to ensure stability in other regions of the world.

"Only contributing to security of others we can expect assistance. Our contribution to security in Afghanistan, Iraq, and African countries paid off fully. The number of allies in our country now is bigger than the largest number of all Lithuanians taking part in different operations," he said.

According to the minister, the current situation of Lithuania is completely different from that back in 1941, therefore, in the case of foreign military aggression the Armed Forces of the country would be ordered to act.

This year, the national defence appropriations from the state budget were increased by nearly a third to almost EUR 425 million. This accounts for 1.1 percent of Lithuania's GDP.

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