The Baltic states must be ready to defend themselves if they want their NATO partners to assist them, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė says.
Dalia Grybauskaitė at the General P. Plechavičius school with cadets in Kaunas
© DELFI (R. Achmedovo nuotr.)

"Having in mind the geopolitical situation on our borders around the Baltic states, it is important that the Baltic states, first, need to be prepared to defend themselves and only then to ask and wait for NATO partners to come," Grybauskaitė told journalists in Kaunas, Lithuania's second-largest city, on Friday.

"If we, the Baltic states, are not ready to defend ourselves, nobody will come. Because you cannot ask (...) a German citizen to come to defend Lithuania or Latvia if our people are not ready and not going to defend our country. So that is very clear that, first, we need to do our homework to be prepared on our own and only then ask our partners to come," she said.

Lithuania increased its defence spending to EUR 427.5 million, or 1.1 percent of estimated GDP, this year. The country has also purchased new anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons and is holding talks with Germany on the acquisition of additional artillery capabilities. Lithuania also plans to call a tender for the purchase of armoured vehicles at the end of this year.

Last week, the Seimas of Lithuania restored conscription in response to a proposal by the State Defence Council.

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