Lithuania's parliament on Tuesday unanimously ratified the Lithuania-US agreement on the status of US troops in the Baltic states.
USA troops marching in the Cathedral Sq in Vilnius during the Army day
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

Adoption of the relevant law was voted by 111 parliamentarians. The document was ratified on the fast track, as proposed by President Dalia Grybauskaitė.

"Undoubtedly, the United States is the main guarantor of our security and Lithuania's strategic defense and security partner," Deputy Defence Minister Vytautas Umbrasas told the parliament.

"After Russia's aggression in Ukraine in 2014, the United States was the first to send to Lithuania additional air-policing jet fighters and companies for continuous presence, thus confirming that the US cares about Lithuania's security too," he said.

The deal was signed by Lithuanian Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis and Anne Hall, the US ambassador to Lithuania, on Jan. 17 and will take effect after it is ratified by the Seimas.

The agreement gives the US jurisdiction over crimes committed by its military personnel, but allows Lithuania as the host nation to take over jurisdiction in cases of particular importance to it. The document also gives the US the right to use certain military facilities, although these facilities remain in the ownership of Lithuania.

Latvia and Estonia also signed similar agreements with the US this year.

Such bilateral agreements on defense cooperation, which define the status of US troops and their families, are signed at the US initiative.

A company-sized US unit has been stationed in Lithuania since in 2014 and a battalion from the US brigade that is being deployed to Poland is expected to frequently come to Lithuania for training.

Volker: US backs talks on eastern Ukraine conflict, would join if needed

The United States supports the current format of negotiations on the situation in Eastern Ukraine ,...

Over 10,000 people join hands in Vilnius to mark 30 years since Baltic Way (1)

Over 10,000 people joined hands to form a human chain in Vilnius on Friday to mark the 30th...

Hong Kong, Beijing supporters square off in Vilnius rally: two taken to police

A rally held in Vilnius on Friday in support to Hong Kong pro-democracy activists was overshadowed by...

Prime minister leaves for Riga to mark Baltic Way, discuss Astravets NPP situation

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis left to Riga on Friday to meet with the Latvian and...

Commemorations from Vilnius to Hong Kong to mark Baltic Way's 30th anniversary

As Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia mark the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way , people in Hong Kong...