President Dalia Grybauskaitė said on Monday that Lithuania was ready to defend itself in the event of Russian aggression as she commented on the latest annual threat assessment report by the country's intelligence services.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė in Klaipėda
© LRPK / Robertas Dačkus

The president also dismissed worries voiced by Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis that NATO's plans "may not be as fast as we would want them to be" and that "additional NATO forces would not arrive at such speeds".

The State Security Department and the Second Investigation Department under the Ministry of Defense said in their annual threat assessment that Russia had built up military forces in its western part and in the exclave of Kaliningrad and would be able to launch combat activities against the Baltic states with 24 to 48 hours' notice.

"I don't comment on statements by individual Lithuanian ministers and politicians. We are ready to defend ourselves. We have defense plans in place. We have a rapid reaction force we have created ourselves and we are creating the third brigade for this purpose. We also have agreements on a bilateral basis," Grybauskaitė said.

The president said that the level of threats in Lithuania had been unchanged in recent years.

"The level of threats remains the same as it was last year and the year before last. We have a neighbor whose readiness to perform certain aggressive actions has always been at that level. Nothing has changed. There's nothing new here," Grybauskaitė said.

"And Lithuania is ready to defend itself. In the wake of the occupation of Crimea, we have ourselves developed a rapid reaction force that is able to respond within an hour if there is a threat to our territory," she added.

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