On 21 January, in Riga, the Informal Meeting of European Union Defence Policy Directors agreed that the European Union and NATO had to cooperate in providing response to threats of hybrid warfare, Lithuania's Ministry of National Defence said.

"Hybrid warfare encompasses more than just military dimension, so the European Union has to find ways of helping its member states to respond to the threats of hybrid warfare, particularly in the area of strategic communication," Defence Policy Director of the Ministry of National Defence Vaidotas Urbelis highlighted at the meeting.

The Lithuanian representative urged European countries to increase support to Ukraine. "Ukraine's struggle is our struggle, therefore we have to render every kind of assistance, including military support, speedily and effectively," Urbelis underscored. The meeting also addressed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa and urged countries to contribute to the joint efforts of countering Islamic radicalism.

Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service Maciej Popowski stressed that the European Union had to prepare intensely for the European Council discussion on defence which will take place in May 2015.

It was stressed at the meeting that European countries would only be able to respond to emerging threats if member states met their commitment to increase defence spending.

The European Defence Policy Directors meeting is a format of high-level officials from the 28 European member states serving as a platform for an informal exchange of views on the key topics on the European agenda.

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