Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius met on Tuesday with the appointed NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg. Linkevičius says he has been reassured the decisions made during the recent NATO summit regarding the strengthening of military capabilities in the Baltic states will be implemented.
Jens Stoltenberg
© AFP/Scanpix

"The new secretary general repeated many times that the summit decisions are good, right and their implementation is now a crucial task. That perfectly matches Lithuania's interests," Linkevičius told BNS by phone from Oslo, Norway.

"We spoke about the readiness action plan. It’s a complex document on strengthening capabilities. There are many instructions for the military command what they need to implement. It contains clauses on the presence of capabilities in Eastern Europe, including the Baltic states, on the creation of control and command mechanisms, early preposition of equipment, improving the situation when receiving allied forces," the minister said.

Linkevičius said he spoke with the Norwegian politician about "the need to stick to a principled position on Russia. We cannot go back to the framework of conventional communication as Russia itself made the decision to violate the principles our partnership was built on and we must respond accordingly."

In the minister's words, the future NATO chief also paid attention to the fact that NATO members must spend more on defence, and he also praised Lithuania's plans to increase defence expenditure to 2 percent GDP by 2020, which is twice what the country spends now.

Stoltenberg is set to replace Denmark's Anders Fogh Rasmussen as NATO secretary general on 1 October when the latter's five-year term ends.

BNS
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