Prime Minister’s meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg


2023 06 27


On Tuesday, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who is visiting Lithuania, to discuss preparations for the NATO Summit in Vilnius in July, the alliance’s priorities for bolstering defence and deterrence, and the developments in regional security.

‘Strengthening defence and deterrence remains as important as it was a year ago, when we agreed on significant steps in this direction at the Madrid Summit. Our decisions on Ukraine’s prospective NATO membership must not be constrained by Russia’s rhetoric and actions. While Russia is a threat to the democratic world, it is by no means a decider’, said the Prime Minister.

An undecisive stance regarding Ukraine’s potential membership in the alliance would only encourage Russia to persist in using aggression as a means of exerting influence, the Prime Minister emphasized.

The NATO Secretary General and the Lithuanian Prime Minister discussed the implementation of the measures agreed upon at the Madrid Summit, aimed at strengthening deterrence and defence capabilities. They also recognized the imperative of addressing the ongoing security situation in the region, which has shown no signs of improvement in the past year, by sustaining efforts to bolster the Alliance.

As emphasized by the Prime Minister, the choice of Vilnius as the host city for this year’s NATO Summit holds significant symbolic importance, considering the proximity of Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine.

The parties also pointed out the significance of sustained defence investments by NATO member states, the importance of NATO-EU cooperation, and the Sweden's path to NATO membership.

Prime Minister Šimonytė expressed her appreciation for the leadership shown by NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg in effectively steering the Alliance through the security challenges, specifically highlighting the Secretary General’s recognition of the gravity of Russia’s war against Ukraine, with far-reaching implications for both regional security and global stability.