President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Speaker of the German Bundestag Norbert Lammert and Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces Hans-Peter Bartels. Security situation in the region and Europe, preparation for the upcoming NATO Summit in 2018, Lithuania and Germany’s collaboration in countering hybrid threats and enhancing international peace and stability were discussed at the meeting.
The Speaker of the Bundestag visited German troops, serving at the multinational NATO battalion in Lithuania. The German Parliament has significantly contributed to Germany’s decision to lead NATO’s forward presence in Lithuania as it expressed a strong political will to shoulder more responsibility for Europe’s defense. According to the President, it is a model of responsible parliamentarism demonstrating our unity and determination to ensure security through joint efforts in the face of threats.
The President underscored that German leadership was important in further strengthening defense capabilities of NATO’s Eastern flank. Lithuania consistently increases its defense funding and modernizes its military forces; however, with threats ongoing, the Alliance has to become more rapid and more efficient as well. The establishment of regional air defense, measures to avoid possible military isolation of the Baltic states, continuously updated NATO defense plans with attributed specific military capacities and more rapid decision-making in NATO are Lithuania’s aims in the upcoming NATO summit, and Germany’s support to that end is very important.
Firm and high-principled Germany’s stance on Russia is also key to Europe’s security. Germany has never wavered in naming Russia’s responsibility for the aggression in Ukraine. Value-based German stance helps continuing EU sanctions against Russia and is important in aiming to curb new attempts to destroy European security architecture.
Lithuania’s and Germany's response to hybrid threats was discussed at the meeting. Lithuania and Germany engage in successful cooperation in fighting against propaganda and ensuring regional accessibility to free media. According to the President, with the reoccurring high-scale cyber-attacks and attempts to interfere with the democratic elections in the EU member states demand such concentration of capabilities for ensuring European cyber-security.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė also underscored that the Astravyets NPP failing to meet the international nuclear safety standards poses danger to entire Europe. In the event of disaster, the nuclear pollution could affect as many as 16 European capitals. Therefore, fighting against the construction of unsafe nuclear power plant in Astravyets is a common concern of the EU.
Lithuania and Germany engage in close cooperation for enhancing regional as well as international peace and stability. Almost half of the Lithuanian military staff presently taking part in the international missions work with Germans. Lithuania and Germany assist the United Nations in ensuring stability in Mali. Lithuanian officials and German Navy participate in the European Union-led operation Sophia that saves lives in the Mediterranean Sea and fights against human smugglers.