Foreign Minister in Washington DC: transatlantic cooperation remains a cornerstone in countering hybrid threats
On 5 February, during the visit to the U.S., Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius met with the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Co-Chairman of the Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus Chuck Grassley, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell, experts from the Atlantic Council, students at the Washington University, and members of the academic community.
In overcoming a challenging period in the transatlantic relationship, we must rally our efforts and show more unity. We must strengthen and build transatlantic bond that would reflect new realities and enable us to better respond to hybrid threats, said Minister Linkevičius in the meeting with Assistant Secretary Mitchell. Foreign Minister thanked W. Mitchell for the U.S. and his personal support for Lithuania and for the contribution to strengthening the U.S.-Lithuanian strategic partnership, as well as to the ties between the United States and Europe.
In the meetings, L. Linkevičius emphasized the importance of transatlantic cooperation and strengthening NATO. He condemned Russia's ongoing aggression against Ukraine and highlighted the need to strengthen credible deterrence and sanctions against Russia over its actions in the Kerch Strait. The meetings also discussed the future of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in the light of Russia's failure to comply with it.
At the discussion at the Embassy, Atlantic Council experts presented to the Minister Council’s report "US Force Posture in North Central Europe." The report points out that despite important decisions made at NATO summit meetings, it is necessary to increase the speed of Allied response to hostile action.
“The U.S. military presence in the Baltic states and Poland is the best guarantor for security not only in our region, but in the entire transatlantic area,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister.
On 5 February, Foreign Minister also held a discussion with students at the Washington University and members of the academic community. The discussion focused on the Western response to Russia’s malicious acts, building the resilience of Western societies to such actions, as well as security issues in Central and Eastern Europe.