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2020.04.02 10:14

Like 15 years ago in Pakistan, NATO could be used for humanitarian aid – FM Linkevičius

NATO foreign ministers will hold a video-conference meeting on Thursday to discuss how the Alliance could help countries cope with the coronavirus crisis.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius on Tuesday said NATO could help with human resources and transport.

Read more: Croat and German medics arrive in Lithuania to treat NATO troops

"I'm sure NATO must now provide full support to civilian institutions," he told the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.

Linkevičius also said that the NATO Response Force had in the past been used in a disaster relief effort.

"You may recall that 15 years ago, the Response Force was deployed to Pakistan following an earthquake – the only time it was used for a purpose completely different from that it was created for," he said.

Then, Lithuania provided water purification equipment as a "small," but still an important contribution, he added.

According to Linkevičius, the Alliance could provide efficient logistical support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Spain last week formally asked NATO for humanitarian assistance, following a spike in coronavirus cases and deaths in the country.