Seimas approved the National Security Strategy
Press release, 17 January 2017
The Seimas approved the National Security Strategy by 106 votes in favour to none against and 1 abstention. The Strategy defines the key aspects of the national security policy; national security interests of the Republic of Lithuania; threats, risks and risk factors; and the priorities and targets of the national security policy.
The Strategy identifies threats, risks and risk factors that must be given particular attention by institutions ensuring national security. They include conventional military threats posed by the readiness and determination of the Russian Federation to use military force for the achievement of its objectives; deployment and development of Russian military capabilities in the Lithuanian neighbourhood; military activities lacking in transparency and demonstrating Russian military might at the borders of Lithuania and other NATO Member States; undercover military and intelligence operations undertaken by foreign states to potentially make a negative impact on Lithuania’s political system, military capabilities, law enforcement, and social and economic stability, strain the decision-making in NATO and its Member States, put the unity of the EU and NATO to the test, and be used to obtain information classified as state or official secrets; threats to the unity of the Euro-Atlantic community; global and regional instability; terrorism, extremism and radicalisation; information threats; cyber threats; economic and energy dependence; economic vulnerability; and development of unsafe nuclear energy at the Lithuanian borders.
The priorities of the national security policy of the Republic of Lithuania and long- and medium-term tasks under the Strategy are as follows: strengthening of national defence capabilities; reinforcement of NATO’s collective defence; strengthening of NATO crisis management and NATO partnerships; and advancement of solidarity and unity in the EU.
The Strategy envisages a consistent increase in defence spending to at least 2 % of GDP by 2018 at the latest and a further steady rise in defence funding; and an increase in combat power of the armed forces with a particular focus on the land combat capabilities, air surveillance and defence capabilities, development of fire support capabilities, and stockpiling.
The Strategy provides for a mixed model of manning of the Lithuanian armed forces by composing it of professional servicemen, initial mandatory military servicemen and volunteers with a possibility to introduce universal military service at a later stage. The military reserve component will also be increased and strengthened so that it is sufficient, duly trained and equipped to meet the national defence needs.
Lithuania undertakes to maintain high readiness units to immediately react to conventional military threats and counter local armed incidents and state border violations, which, by their very nature, do not amount to acts of aggression; to develop mobilisation capacity, which meets the needs of national and collective defence, and the host nation support capabilities and infrastructure that would enable rapid and smooth deployment and operation of the allied forces in Lithuania.
In the Strategy, Lithuania undertakes to contribute to the reinforcement of NATO’s collective defence capabilities with a special focus on NATO’s rapid reaction force; to support the preparation and regular updating of NATO’s defence plans; to participate in strengthening NATO’s readiness to respond to hybrid threats; to contribute to the development of NATO’s capabilities to counter challenges in the areas of energy, cyber and information security; to strengthen NATO’s deterrence policy based on conventional instruments and nuclear facilities; to promote and support NATO’s decisions on the long-term substantial presence of NATO’s military contingent in Lithuania and the Baltic region for ensuring credible deterrence, including the deployment of the Allied forces, early deployment of weapons and equipment, and regular exercises.
Lithuania also undertakes to support NATO’s efforts to strengthen security and stability in the regions neighbouring NATO; to continue supporting the NATO enlargement and partnerships policy, EU–NATO strategic partnership and organisational complementarity, and stronger transatlantic relations; to contribute to NATO military and civilian capabilities enabling to effectively manage and carry out cross-border operations as well as to building of capabilities for development and training of local forces.
The Strategy establishes that the Republic of Lithuania views its national security as safeguarding of interests of national security. Lithuania pursues an open, transparent and non-confrontational security policy. Lithuania does not consider any state to be its adversary.
The vital interests of Lithuania’s national security are the following: sovereignty, territorial integrity, democratic constitutional order, civil society, respect for and protection of human and civil rights and freedoms, as well as peace and prosperity in the country.
The primary interests of national security are the interests a failure to defend which would eventually result in violation of Lithuania’s vital interests: viability and unity of NATO and the EU, security of all members of the Euro-Atlantic community, solidarity, democracy and prosperity; security, stability, dissemination of democracy and European values across the Eastern neighbourhood of Lithuania; sustainability of national development: economic, energy, environmental, informational, cyber and social security.
Saulė Eglė Trembo, Chief Specialist, Press Office, Information and Communication Department, tel. +370 5 239 6203, e-mail: [email protected]