NATO must be ready to effectively respond to threats irrespective of their source, says Lithuania's Linas Linkevičius at a meeting of foreign affairs ministers of NATO countries.
© Scanpix

The meeting of ministers in Brussels addressed threats to the Alliance's security arising from conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East as well as challenges related to the intensifying military activity of Russia.

The Lithuanian foreign minister emphasised solidarity with Turkey, which is facing security challenges because of the continuing civil war in Syria and Russia's actions in the region.

The NATO ministers discussed the need to reduce the risks of incidents. However, Linkevičius said there were no signs that Russia would be interested in steps enhancing transparency and bilateral trust, which would help avoid new incidents and reduce the risk of conflicts. Possibilities of using existing bilateral mechanisms and instruments provided by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) were considered.

According to the minister, the Alliance's main objective is full implementation of the Readiness Action Plan and further military adaptation of NATO which would ensure its readiness to respond to all kinds of threats.

Linkevičius also noted that Lithuania is ready for discussions over future relations with Russia. Nonetheless, according to the minister, it should not be digressed from the main issues - the situation in eastern Ukraine and the implementation of Minsk agreements.

NATO foreign ministers approved the strategy of combating hybrid threats and decided to invite Montenegro to join the Alliance, they also stressed that doors are open to other countries seeking membership.

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