The Alliance’s Air Policing Mission over the three Baltic States was hailed as a concrete example of NATO solidarity in action by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a visit to the Karmelava Airspace Control Centre in Lithuania on Friday (21 November 2014). ”Collective defence is our core task,” Mr Stoltenberg said, “NATO stands with Lithuania – as we do with each and every Ally.”
At Karmelava, the Secretary General and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaité were briefed on the air policing mission at the control centre’s operations room.
They also met troops from Lithuania, Denmark, Hungary and the United States, currently training at Karmelava.
Meeting with President Grybauskaite, Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius and Defence Minister Juozas Olekas, Mr Stoltenberg discussed current security challenges and the implications of Russia’s continued aggressive actions in Ukraine. He outlined ongoing work to implement the Readiness Action Plan agreed at the NATO Wales Summit, stressing that “this plan is the key to ensuring we are capable to deal with the challenges that we face.”
Mr Stoltenberg thanked Lithuania for its operational contributions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, as well as for its leadership on energy security. He welcomed Lithuania’s commitment to increase its defence spending. “In these turbulent times, this commitment is more precious than ever,” the Secretary General said.
Reporter Section NATO