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Minister of National Defence, Arvydas Anušauskas: ‘Putin’s invasion of Ukraine did not dramatically change the Lithuanian defence policy course. It only has proved that we are on the right track

Press release, 29 May 2022


The NATO Parliamentary Assembly continues its work. Arvydas Anušauskas, Lithuanian Minister of National Defence, presented the report at the Defence and Security Committee. The subject of the report is the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Lithuania’s defence policy.

Photo by E. Khvashchynskaya, Office of the Seimas


According to the Minister, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine did not dramatically change the Lithuanian defence policy course. It only has proved that we are on the right track. Our total defence strategy, based on national and collective defence and involving all civilian institutions and society, works.


Mr Anušauskas identified measures that would further improve the preparation of the country’s defence. First, defence spending has been increased. Since 2014, Lithuania has made huge progress in increasing the defence budget and reaching 2 % of GDP. This year, defence spending has been increased to 2.5 % of GDP.


Speaking about the Lithuanian Armed Forces, the Minister noted that the level of readiness of the forces was also increased, with some units being ready to act within a few hours. Military training has also been intensified and the number of conscripts is planned to be increased. At the same time, Mr Anušauskas pointed out that while continuing to provide support to Ukraine (Lithuania’s support has reached over EUR 100 million; it mostly lethal supoport), we have to deal with reduced arms supplies for our own Armed Forces.


‘This is a common issue for many allies. It is important to work closely with the defence industry so that demands would be met in time. We have to do everything to be ready today, not in five or ten years,’ stressed the Minister. He added that an important goal for us is to have more NATO and US forces in Lithuania: ‘We are increasing our host nation's support capacity, creating new military facilities and new training area, and upgrading the existing infrastructure. This is a top priority not only for the Armed Forces, but also for the Government. In a very short time we will be ready to host thousands of additional NATO troops.’


Concluding the report, the Minister stated that we were living in the worst security situation since WW2: ‘Ukraine is pushing back Russian aggressors. But we must not forget history lessons. Russia is a long-term threat to our security. The upcoming NATO summit in Madrid in June will be a good opportunity to show that we are ready to change and adapt to the new reality. Russia wants to see us divided, but our unity must be a strong weapon.’



Jolanta Anskaitienė, Adviser, Press Office, Information and Communication Department, tel. +370 5 239 6508, e-mail: [email protected]

   Last updated on 05/30/2022 13:47
   Monika Kutkaitytė