19 January 2012 Press Release
Speaker of the Seimas Irena Degutienė met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on his visit to Lithuania.
The Seimas Speaker underlined that NATO was the guarantor of Lithuanias security, that politicians as well as the general public see a clear link between Lithuanias membership of NATO and the final rooting of the independence of the Lithuanian state.
Irena Degutienė thanked the NATO Secretary General for his support for the extension of the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic States. NATO Air Policing is NATOs largest and most visible military contribution in the Baltic States. We consider the Mission to be the measure that ensures Lithuanias fully-fledged membership of NATO as it aims to protect the air space of the Baltic countries and apply unified standards for airspace security throughout the Alliance.
Secretary General Rasmussen noted that the main task of NATO was the protection of the territories and populations of its member states, thus the members had to make adequate allocations to defence and to develop cooperation and smart defence. NATO Air Policing is a perfect example of smart defence.
The Speaker of the Seimas said that Lithuania understands the importance of investment into security. Even during the financial crisis, we tried to make certain that Lithuanias international commitments were fulfilled, first and foremost, our operation in Afghanistan. And we manage to do that.
Secretariat of the Speaker
Laurynas Kasčiūnas, Advisor to the Speaker (+ 370 5) 239 6004; 698 42524