Working visit by President Dalia Grybauskaitė to Chicago to attend the NATO Summit, 20-21 May 2012
President Dalia Grybauskaitė attended the NATO Summit in Chicago which focused on the strengthening of collective defence, the missile defence system, the mission in Afghanistan, and new threats.
The President underlined that at this Summit Lithuania had achieved and reaffirmed all the goals it sought to ensure the security of our country and people.
Decisions taken at the Summit include the extension of NATO's Air Policing mission indefinitely, collective defence guarantees (in accordance with Article 5 of the Washington Treaty), approved measures to implement contingency plans, no division into missile defence sectors, and the protection of Allies by a full-fledged, effective and independent NATO missile defence system.
"This NATO Summit is the most successful and result-yielding for the Baltic States. The achievements over recent three years are really impressive. Lithuania's membership in NATO becomes real and full-fledged. At last, we have clear and specific security guarantees that we will be protected and defended. Lithuanian people can feel safe," President Dalia Grybauskaitė underlined.
US President Barack Obama, in his speech at the North Atlantic Council, also voiced strong support for the Air Policing mission in the Baltic States. At the NATO Summit, this mission was designated as one of the most successful examples of NATO solidarity. For their part, the Baltic countries announced that they were increasing their contribution to the mission.
A total of 13 documents were approved at the NATO Summit. The most important among them are the Chicago Summit Declaration and a broad package of defence commitments (NATO Forces 2020), providing for effective security enhancing measures today and ten years on. It was agreed to implement the "smart defence" and "connected forces" initiatives of improving NATO cooperation and interoperability to allow Allies using effectively and jointly their military, financial and technological capabilities. The smart defence initiative will also include the NATO missile defence system and Air Policing mission in the Baltics, which are important for Lithuania.
The Alliance also supported at the highest level Lithuania's aspirations to have the Vilnius-based Energy Security Center (established in 2012) accredited with NATO as a center of excellence and to complete the accreditation process as soon as possible.
The Summit reaffirmed NATO's focus on the intensifying militarization in Kaliningrad. According to the President, NATO is prepared to strengthen cooperation with Russia, but there must be reciprocity. The President stressed that intensive militarization at the borders of the Alliance is in contradiction to Russia's declared aspiration to develop a strategic partnership with NATO.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė during the NATO Summit in Chicago delivered a speech at the North Atlantic Council which focused on the issues of defence in times of austerity, the security environment, new threats and challenges.
The President underlined that today all Allies face financial and economic challenges, which means we have to spend smarter and cooperate more. She voiced support for the invitation by the NATO Secretary General to agree on a new common goal - NATO Forces 2020, and said that the best means to achieve it, most notably, was through Smart Defence, Connected Forces and other initiatives.
"NATO Air Policing Mission in Baltic States is among the best examples of smart defence and a visible sign of NATO solidarity. Lithuania highly values the commitment of Allies to a continuous Air Policing mission. Baltic States have agreed to increase their support to the mission from 2.2 million Euros to 5 million Euros per year starting from 2015," President Dalia Grybauskaitė said.
Addressing NATO leaders, the President placed special focus on energy security issues which, through Lithuania's efforts, have been included into the Summit agenda, and noted specific achievements in this sphere.
"Lithuania has established the Energy Security Centre as a practical contribution to NATO's efforts in the field of energy security and to smart defence. Once it becomes a NATO Centre of Excellence, it will provide assessments, recommendations and proposals for efficient energy solutions to support the military needs, engage in education and training, as well as provide scientific, technical and academic analysis. I welcome the support shown by NATO Allies to the Centre," the President said.
Speaking about NATO's strategic partnership with Russia, the President stressed that the intensification of militarization in Kaliningrad and the deployment of the most advanced surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missile systems in the region raise serious concerns. Therefore, NATO has to maintain a credible deterrence as well as a more flexible interaction between NATO forces through joint live exercises, training and rotational presence. President Dalia Grybauskaitė also called on the Allies to be more careful than before about any transfer of military technology and equipment to third countries.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė, attending the NATO Summit in Chicago, discussed the security of the Baltic States with US President Barack Obama. Latvian President Andris Bērziņš and Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip also participated in the conversation.
The Baltic leaders and the US President addressed the implementation of contingency plans in the Baltic States, the extension of air policing mission, and the regional security issues.
According to President Dalia Grybauskaitė, the United States is fully aware of the challenges facing Lithuania and the Baltic countries and is ready to help overcome them. Intensive cooperation with the United States is already yielding concrete results, she said.
"Cooperation with the United States is increasingly more intensive not only in security, but also in economic and energy spheres. America is not only Lithuania's key partner who supported the unlimited extension of NATO's air policing mission in the Baltics, it also contributes in a major way to the energy projects of strategic importance to our country - liquefied natural gas terminal and the Visaginas nuclear power plant," the President underlined.
Dalia Grybauskaitė thanked US President Barack Obama for the decisions important to the Baltic States taken at the NATO Summit on the missile defence system, air policing mission, implementation of contingency plans. She said that without President Obama's personal contribution the results that are of key significance to Baltic security would have been impossible. US President Barack Obama voiced strong support for the air policing mission in the Baltic States yesterday, when addressing the North Atlantic Council.
According to the President, US support is also very important for Lithuania's determined aspiration to have the highest nuclear safety standards applied to all power plants, including those under construction in Kaliningrad and Astravets.
During her working visit in Chicago, President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with representatives of Lithuanian organizations in the USA to discuss the economic and political situation in the country, the strategic goals aimed to strengthen the military and energy security, as well as the issues of preserving Lithuanian identity and involving foreign Lithuanians in the country's life.
"Lithuania is recovering which is witnessed by economic growth, progressing energy projects, and real NATO security guarantees that we have - contingency plans and Air Policing mission in the Baltic States. It is necessary to continue promoting progress and enhancing competitiveness. Therefore, Lithuania needs every Lithuanian who can contribute with his knowledge, ideas and experience," President Dalia Grybauskaitė said.
The President invited the Lithuanian scientists living abroad to share their knowledge and implement achievements in Lithuania.
According to the President, in the globalizing world the preservation of the Lithuanian identity becomes an increasing challenge and the Lithuanian American community is one of the best examples of how to truly cherish the Lithuanian identity, preserve strong ties with the Motherland and help Lithuania with actual works.
"You all have the second Motherland, Lithuania, in your hearts and it is the most important to you. Thank you for preserving the Lithuanian roots, for speaking, singing and dancing in Lithuanian, for educating you children to be Lithuanians," the President said.
Dalia Grybauskaitė called on the Lithuanian American community to participate actively in the elections to the Seimas in autumn, and addressed the issues important for Lithuanian emigrants.
Search for best solutions for Lithuania in the spheres of economy, science and culture will be also on the agenda of the World Lithuanian Youth Forum, she said. In July, three thousand Lithuanians from thirty countries will come to Lithuania. This Forum will provide an opportunity for the young generation of emigrants not only to strengthen ties with their Motherland, but also to engage actively in its life, share knowledge, energy and experience. The World Lithuanian Youth Forum is under the patronage of President Dalia Grybauskaitė.
Press Service of the President
Last updated: 2012-06-05 09:27
10:30 Presentation of credentials by Bulgarian ambassador (Presidential Palace, S. Daukanto a. 3)
18:00 Participation in German Economy Awards 2013 (Gedimino pr. 35, Vilnius)