Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Landsbergis: “We are safer as part of NATO. Also, NATO is safer because Lithuania is part of the Alliance”
Today, on 29 March, when commemorating the anniversary of Lithuania’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis stressed that this day was important not only for Lithuania but also for the Alliance. Landsbergis recalled the successful enlargement of NATO’s eastern flank 19 years ago when Lithuania joined the organization with Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
“Nineteen years ago, we took a historic step in Lithuania’s security and foreign policy. Today it is obvious that we and our allies appreciate the relevance and meaning of this decision. Our country is a trusted and valued member of the Alliance. Lithuania’s voice is heard in foreign policy and security, while our allies’ commitments in our region are increasing. It is also evidenced by the fact that this year NATO’s summit will take place in Vilnius. It is expected that the summit’s important decisions will help boost the Alliance’s defence and deterrence further and increase support for Ukraine,” Landsbergis said.
Results of an annual poll commissioned by NATO show Lithuanian citizens’ overwhelming support for NATO membership and great trust in this organization. As many as 87 % of Lithuanians support NATO membership, while 90 % of respondents said the transatlantic partnership was essential in addressing security challenges.
The poll shows that Lithuanian citizens stand in solidarity with other members of the Alliance. 79 % of respondents spoke in favour of the principle of collective defence — meaning that an attack against one ally was considered an attack against all allies. The poll also shows that Lithuanians are not just passive beneficiaries. They would bravely support the strengthening of other allies’ security. Lithuanians believe that NATO membership also reduces the likelihood of an attack on Lithuania. The solidarity and cohesion among the Alliance’s members are crucial in the context of the Russian war against Ukraine.
“Today, as we are marking the anniversary of Lithuania’s accession to NATO, it is clear that the strengthening of the eastern flank and NATO’s open door policy remain as viable as 20 years ago. NATO members are waiting for our NATO family to be soon joined by Finland and Sweden, and also by Ukraine and Georgia shortly, bearing in mind Bucharest’s decisions,” Landsbergis said.
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