Minister of National Defence R. Juknevičienė attend NATO Defence Ministers’ meeting
National Defence Ministry representatives informed that on Wednesday Minister of National Defence Rasa Juknevičienė stressed, at the NATO Defence Ministers’ meeting, that NATO Defence Summit in Chicago must result in announcing NATO’s decision to develop capabilities for protecting the allies from the full range of threats, including the most complicated scenarios.
“Both air-ground surveillance and missile defence systems are meant to strengthen the allied capabilities to protect the allies and respond to other sorts of crises,” Lithuanian Defence Minister explained.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that the Chicago Summit will be “not a goal only but also a point of reference for future work.”
Defence Ministers have set forth guidelines for further dispute on the NATO capability development, the final decision regarding that point will be adopted at the Chicago Summit. The represented countries expressed support to the NATO‘s Baltic Air Policing mission and put forward a position that the opening of NATO missile defence system is to be announced at the Chicago Summit.
R. Juknevičienė emphasized that Lithuania as well as the other two Baltic countries had invested great efforts to increase the Host Nation Support (HNS) package for the NATO Air Policing mission based in Šiauliai. The North Atlantic Council passed a decision in February that the mission would become long-term.
“All the three countries have agreed to further increase NHS. Lithuania has made a commitment to advance the planned investment for the Šiauliai Airbase to this year instead of 2013,” said R. Juknevičienė.
Moreover, Minister conveyed Lithuania’s support to NATO’s Secretary General’s initiative to ensure closer interoperability among NATO forces.
R. Juknevičienė also encouraged other participating Ministers to contribute to the activity of the Energy Security Centre, established in Lithuania in 2011.
Bilateral meetings with Defence Minister of Canada, USA, Poland, and Estonia, as well as with representatives of the Ministry of Defence of Estonia also took place.