The world clearly understands that key threats to transatlantic security in our region arise from the militarization of the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, the Zapad military exercise and Belarus' Astravyets nuclear power plant, which has become a geopolitical weapon, President Dalia Grybauskaitė said on Thursday.
During the Zapad 2013 training
© Reuters / Scanpix

"Today, the democratic world understands very clearly that it is our region where major threats to transatlantic security are accumulating: military buildup in the Kaliningrad enclave, aggressive offensive exercise Zapad, the Astravyets nuclear power plant that has become a geopolitical weapon," she said in her State of the National Address to the parliament.

The president noted that Lithuania has this year received "historic support" from NATO allies with the deployment of a battalion involving troops from seven nations, including the United States. However, she underlined that despite the existing guarantees, it is necessary to seek a faster NATO decision-making process, even stronger defense plans and a common air defense system.

Grybauskaitė underscored that Lithuania itself contributes to ensuring security by being a strategic partner of Ukraine and Georgia, helping to tackle the migration crisis and actively participating in the "global anti-terrorist coalition".

The president also called for a greater European integration that "can become a counterbalance to the ongoing instability and tensions in the world" and described EU membership as "a strong guarantee for lasting peace, stability, and well-being".

"However, Europe cannot protect us from political myopia: we need to cleanse ourselves from foreign influences and increase civil resilience," the head of state said.

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