News2023.05.03 09:38

Lithuanian president calls for speeding up deal on NATO defence plans

BNS 2023.05.03 09:38

Lithuania and Poland must seek that NATO member countries agree on the alliance’s new defence plans before July’s summit in Vilnius, President Gitanas Nausėda said after meeting with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Vilnius on Tuesday.

The plans are of particular importance for both Lithuania and Poland, according to Nausėda.

“Strengthening forward defence and effective deterrence are essential elements of the security of NATO’s Eastern flank. We have to work together to secure a commitment from all NATO allies to increase defence spending,” Nausėda said.

“Only when we ourselves are secure and properly armed will we be able to deter the aggressor and help Ukraine to achieve victory on the battlefield,” he added.

It is also necessary to find a formula that would gradually bring Ukraine closer to NATO, “to achieve the prospect of membership when the war is over”, according to the president.

The Lithuanian and Polish leaders also discussed the course of Russia’s war in Ukraine and agreed on the need “to further consolidate allies” to ensure that support to Ukraine is “rapid and effective”, the President’s Office said in a press release.

The president “underlined the importance of cooperation between Lithuania and Poland to ensure the continuation and tightening of EU sanctions against Russia”.

He called for further tightening sanctions against Russia by including its nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, additional banks, companies, and individuals, who are directly and indirectly involved in war crimes in Ukraine, into the EU’s 11th sanctions package.

Nausėda and Morawiecki also discussed joint infrastructure projects.

The president said that accelerating the power grid's synchronisation with the Continental European system is a priority for Lithuania.

Morawiecki also met with Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonyte and attended the opening of an extension to the House of Polish Culture in Vilnius.

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