2021.12.02 08:55

Lithuania seeks security guarantees on ‘NATO’s eastern flank’ – FM

BNS2021.12.02 08:55

Lithuania is seeking agreement on additional security guarantees for NATO's eastern flank, Gabrielius Landsbergis, the country's top diplomat, said after NATO foreign ministers' meeting in Riga on Wednesday.

"We are grateful to our allies for their solidarity and contribution to the security of Lithuania and the region. However, the security situation calls for the strengthening of deterrence and collective defense measures and, therefore, we are seeking agreement on additional security guarantees on the eastern flank," he said in a press release.

In the Latvian capital, NATO foreign ministers have in recent days discussed Russia's military build-up around Ukraine, as well as Belarus' actions in fueling the migration crisis on the borders of Lithuania and other EU neighbours.

According to the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, the alliance has "unanimously expressed solidarity with the countries facing hybrid attacks by the Belarusian regime and mentioned that they would continue to put pressure on Minsk".

Read more: Is Ukraine lost? NATO and Baltics struggle to find answer as Russian troops draw close

The ministers also discussed "lessons from NATO's presence in Afghanistan for future crisis management operations and the Alliance's role in ensuring stability in the Western Balkan region".

They expressed solidarity and support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and Ukraine, and Landsbergis called for increased support for the NATO partners facing pressure from Russia.

"Western countries should ensure that the costs of a possible aggression against Ukraine deter Russia," he said in the press release. "We also need to continue to help strengthen the defence capacity of both Georgia and Ukraine."

In Riga, Landsbergis met with his US, Norwegian and Icelandic counterparts, and took part in the Baltic foreign ministers' meetings with UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

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