Lithuania is ready to strengthen cooperation with Italy in countering threats to European security
On 9 August, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Darius Skusevičius met with Claudio Graziano, Chief of the Italian Army, who is visiting Lithuania. Lithuania’s Foreign Vice-Minister thanked Italy for its role in strengthening security of the Baltic States and underlined Lithuania’s readiness to continue to actively contribute to international efforts to counter terrorism, illegal migration and other threats to European security.
“Over the past year, NATO has shown that it is capable to quickly respond to the changing security environment and to strengthen its capabilities for deterrence and collective defence,” said Skusevičius. Lithuania’s Foreign Vice-Minister highlighted the importance of creating NATO’s Spearhead Force, which was to be led by Italy in 2018, and of the deployment of NATO’s enhanced forward presence battalions to the Baltic states and Poland, but stressed that NATO’s adaptation process should not end there.
“We must continue to enhance NATO’s effectiveness in the light of Russia’s continuing aggression, cyber-attacks and information attacks, as well as the threat of terrorism,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Vice-Minister, as he welcomed NATO’s decision to establish the Hub for the South in Naples, Italy, to address challenges emerging from North Africa and the Middle East.
Lithuania’s Foreign Vice-Minister assured the Chief of the Italian Army that Lithuania would maintain its level of engagement in international missions and operations in fragile states, and would consider the possibility to gradually increase it.