Foreign Ministers to Seek NATO Reinforcment

Foreign ministers

The foreign ministers of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland met in Riga on April 29 for discussions focused on cooperation between the Baltic states and Poland to strengthen regional security and related items on NATO’s agenda, including preparations for the next NATO summit in Madrid, Spain on June 29-30.

The ministers agreed to seek decisions on substantial NATO reinforcement in Eastern Europe. “We must strive for NATO’s new strategic concept to reflect the changed security situation in Europe, to name Russia as a long-term threat, and to give priority to NATO’s task of collective defence,” said Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis in a statement. “The existing concept of deterrence is no longer sufficient. Assurances that every inch of our territory will be defended must be at the heart of NATO’s defence strategy.”

The foreign ministers also spoke out in favour of providing military support to Ukraine immediately. They have also agreed that the EU must include oil in the new package of sanctions on Russia, while frozen Russian assets could be used for Ukraine’s reconstruction effort. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland strongly support Ukraine’s European aspirations and call on the EU to adopt its open-door policy toward Kyiv, Landsbergis said.