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The High Level Meeting of Speakers of Parliaments of NATO Member Countries began in the Seimas on Friday

Press release, 2 June 2023 

On Friday, 2 June 2023, the High Level Meeting of Speakers of Parliaments of NATO Member Countries began with the welcome address by Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas, and the opening address by Gitanas Nausėda, President of the Republic of Lithuania.

Photo by Džoja Gunda Barysaitė, Office of the Seimas


In her speech, the Speaker of the Seimas stressed that addressing security concerns is crucial in order to effectively tackle any challenge. ‘Addressing security challenges can pave the way for progress in other areas. When nations are burdened with immediate security threats, their resources and attention are often consumed, making it difficult to prioritize and address other challenges effectively. That is why our meeting today and the upcoming NATO Vilnius Summit are so important. That is why we urgently and substantially need to address security issues.


To put it simply, security in our daily lives is key to our well-being,’ said Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen, who initiated the Meeting of Speakers of Parliaments of NATO Member Countries.


The Speaker of the Seimas also said that ‘parliaments can and must play a role in ensuring a secure future for our countries and citizens.’ She reminded the participants of the meeting that the Lithuanian Seimas had also made clear its position on the key objectives of the NATO Summit in Vilnius by adopting an appropriate resolution to this effect. The resolution contains five points, one of which is to give full support to Ukraine. ‘Recognizing the importance of Ukraine’s current role in European security and advocating strategic solutions to ensure long-term peace in Ukraine and in Europe, the Seimas expressed the political will to invite Ukraine to join NATO. I strongly believe that this could be one of the most important decisions of the Vilnius Summit. Our support for Ukraine must be comprehensive,’ said Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen.

Photo by Džoja Gunda Barysaitė, Office of the Seimas


In his opening speech, Gitanas Nausėda, said that, to help others, we needed to reinforce our own defence and security and to confirm the credibility of our deterrence. ‘I have no doubt that NATO must remain the strongest force. I hope that the NATO Summit in Vilnius in July will contribute to this task. We have already made the first steps in Madrid. Now, the Alliance must move from forward presence to forward defence with no further delay. The Vilnius Summit will provide the opportunity to make it a reality,’ said Mr Nausėda.


Agreeing with the Speaker of the Seimas, he noted that, without proper financing, the plan for strengthening defence and security would mean very little. ‘My hope is for the Vilnius Summit to agree on setting a new floor of defence spending at 2 % GDP. However, if we are serious about our security, we must aim even higher.  In this regard, the role of national parliaments is crucial. I count on you to take the issue of defence spending seriously,’ said the President.


Mr Nausėda called for supporting Sweden’s bid to become the 32nd NATO member. ‘Finally, I call on you to seriously consider the future of the Ukrainian state. Whenever the war ends, Ukraine cannot be left in the grey zone anymore. Open door is not enough. Political measures must be taken to bring Ukraine as close to the Alliance as it is currently possible. Without Ukraine becoming part of the transatlantic community, there will be no long-lasting peace and security in Europe!’ said the President.


At the Meeting sessions, the discussions further focus on the global challenges and the global NATO, the increase in defence spending, and the strengthening of deterrence and defence. One of the key topics is the long-term support plan for Ukraine.

Photo by Olga Posaškova, Office of the Seimas

Photo by Džoja Gunda Barysaitė, Office of the Seimas




The High Level Meeting of Speakers of Parliaments of NATO Member Countries is streamed live on:

The Seimas website (in Lithuanian),

The Seimas Facebook account (in Lithuanian),

The Seimas YouTube channel Atviras Seimas:

The photos of the Meeting are published on the Flickr account of the Seimas. When using the photos, please indicate the source and author.


Monika Kutkaitytė, Adviser, Press Office, Information and Communication Department, tel. +370 5 239 6666, e-mail: [email protected]

   Last updated on 06/02/2023 15:44
   Monika Kutkaitytė