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Speaker of the Seimas in Washington: ‘NATO troops in the Baltic States are a key deterrent against Russia’

Press release, 31 January 2024


In Washington, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas, met with Senator Patty Murray and members of the US Senate Committee on Appropriations under her leadership. They focused on closer transatlantic relations and essential security elements, namely, the strengthening of NATO’s eastern flank, including the long-term deployment of the US troops in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and the Baltic Security Initiative.

According to the Speaker of the Seimas, NATO forces in the Baltic States play a crucial role in ensuring the security and defence of the region, as Russia remains a direct threat. Therefore, allies and NATO must make preparations and increase defence spending and develop a policy of deterrence against Russia.

‘At the meeting, I emphasised that NATO troops in Lithuania are a key deterrent against Russia. The Congress support for the Baltic Security Initiative contributes to ensuring the security in the region. Lithuania, for its part, has also invested in security, for example, by increasing defence spending to 2.75 % of GDP this year, establishing a national division of armed forces, and closing in on the idea of general conscription,’ said Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen. ‘Incidentally, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, is currently on his visit to Washington. Let us hope that a sound agenda will be drawn up for the NATO Summit in July 2024 to include the solutions for strengthening NATO’s eastern flank.’

01.31 Seimo Pirmininkės susitikimas su JAV senatore. _c.jpg
Photo by Olga Posaškova, Office of the Seimas

The Speaker of the Seimas was also scheduled to meet with representatives of the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Baltic Caucus, including Senator Richard J. Durbin, a faithful friend of Lithuania. 

In the evening, the Speaker of the Seimas and the Lithuanian communities of Washington and Baltimore discussed the topicalities of Lithuania’s domestic and foreign security policy.

On 1 February 2024, the Speaker of the Seimas is planning to meet with representatives of think-tanks and members of the Women’s Caucus of the US Congress. 

Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen will end her visit to the US on 2 February 2024. 

Ilona Petrovė, Spokesperson for Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas, tel. +370 5 209 6030, mob. +370 698 42071, e-mail: [email protected] 

   Last updated on 02/01/2024 15:37
   Monika Kutkaitytė