Lithuania has confidence in the United States regardless of who its next president is, President Dalia Grybauskaitė said on Thursday.

To read this article, try a €5.99 monthly subscription by clicking here.
Dalia Grybauskaitė
© Reuters/Scanpix

She was commenting on Donald Trump's remarks that under his leadership, the US would not automatically defend the Baltic countries in case of a Russian attack.

"I'd like to send a message back saying: we trust America no matter who is the president of America, " Grybauskaitė said.

"America has always defended nations that were attacked and it will continue to do so," she added.

The Republican presidential candidate has told The New York Times that he would decide whether to protect the Baltic countries against Russian aggression based on whether the nations "have fulfilled their obligations to us".

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, on an official visit to Vilnius, underlined that Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty obliges NATO members to come to the defence of any NATO member that is attacked, but added that nations must seek to meet their commitment to spend 2% of their GDP on defence.

"I really do not think that other nations will lose solidarity. We are united and defend our borders, territories and people," she said.

Lithuania had long lagged behind its NATO allies in terms of military expenditure, but it started boosting defence funding in recent years in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine and its military activity in the Baltic Sea region.

Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius has said recently that next year's draft budget earmarks around €725 million for defence, which accounts for 1.79% of the country's gross domestic product.

The government plans that the defence budget will reach the 2% target set by NATO in 2018.

According to information provided by NATO, Lithuania this year ranks among the top ten countries of the Alliance in terms of defence spending.

Croatia's defence budget this year makes up 1.23% of GDP.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.
Leave a comment
Commenting is allowed for registered users only!
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

World awaits if pope touches upon sexual abuse scandal during Lithuanian visit

The world will have its eyes set on the pope visiting Lithuania this weekend to see if he will touch...

Pope Francis plans to honor freedom fight victims, provide hope

Pope Francis says he will pay respect to freedom fight victims during his upcoming visit to the...

Lithuanian president calls for avoiding chaotic Brexit

Attending an informal meeting of EU leaders on Thursday, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė...

Lithuania proposes to create single set of external border standards in EU

President Dalia Grybauskaitė presented Lithuania's initiative to introduce a single set of external...

Pope sends message that history isn't forgotten, can't be repeated - Lithuanian president (1)

President Dalia Grybauskaitė says that Pope Francis will pay homage to the region's painful...