Russia is using the conflict in Syria as a testing ground for its military, which represents a growing danger for Lithuania, says the chairman of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence, Artūras Paulauskas.
Artūras Paulauskas
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

After hearing the Defence Ministry's report on the Syria conflict, Paulauskas also said there were no Lithuanian nationals fighting in the Middle East.

"We do not have information about anyone from Lithuania fighting in Syria," he told reporters on Wednesday after the Committee's sitting.

The Committee heard a report on the situation in the Middle East and Russia's actions in Syria which was delivered by Colonel Alvydas Šiuparis, director of the Second Investigation Department under the Ministry of National Defence.

"We learned about the current situation, possible political solution, weapons used in combat, armed actions and possible military solution. Many questions concerning various areas were raised," MP Paulauskas described the sitting held behind closed doors.

According to Paulauskas, Russia is using Syria as a training ground to test its weapons. "Warehouses are being emptied and filled with modern weapons. This is strengthening Russia's military power as it is demonstrating its newest weapons there and has an opportunity for testing them," said the Committee's chairman.

Paulauskas says that if Russia's military power becomes stronger after the conflict in Syria, then Lithuania will be in a more dangerous position. Vilnius should take this into account and keep updating its defence plans.

"We are monitoring the situation all the time and are adjusting our plans, they are constantly replaced and revised nearly every year or even more often. I believe we have to evaluate the threat from the East, which is actually becoming increasingly dangerous. We need to take into account new weaponry and that a contingent from Kaliningrad is being used in Syria, people will return with military experience and experience in armed actions," said MP Paulauskas.

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