Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė says that the Zapad 2017 exercise planned by Russia and Belarus for this year is a demonstration of their preparations for warfare with the West.
During the Zapad 2013 training
© Reuters / Scanpix

"We see that threats can be different, they escalate, we're worried about the Zapad 2017 training that will concentrate extremely large and aggressive forces, clearly there are preparations for warfare with the West," Grybauskaitė told media in Riga on Thursday.

In his words, threats from the East force the Baltic states to ask partners for additional security guarantees, for instance, in connection to the speed of decision-making in NATO. The president also expressed hope to discuss the security matters with US Vice-President Mike Pence next week. Grybauskaitė said contacts with the new US administration would be "very close."

Vytautas Bakas, chairman of the Lithuanian parliamentary National Security and Defence Committee, said earlier on Thursday that Zapad 2017 would probably be the biggest-ever exercise close to Lithuania's borders.

After the committee's meeting, State Security Department chief Darius Jauniškis said Zapad 2017 would be the main challenge to Lithuania's national security this year.

Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Lithuania puts 3D air defense radars into operation

Lithuanian Air Force put into operation on Tuesday two long-range 3D radars amid efforts to strengthen...

Lithuanian PM to meet NATO chief over additional support

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis is to meet NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg...

Seimas panel head to propose to raise intelligence body funding by EUR 4 mln - media

Vytautas Bakas , chairman of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defense , will propose to...

Fake news on 'NATO plans to attack Belarus' planted on Lithuanian news website - media

A fake news story alleging that NATO is planning to attack Belarus was planted on Kas Vyksta Kaune...

Lithuanian troops to be decorated after Mali deployment

Lithuanian soldiers of the 1st Territorial Unit, Dainava Military District, National Defense Volunteer...