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Viceminister Meilūnas participated in an extraordinary meeting of NATO’s Foreign Ministers

Created: 2022.01.08 / Updated: 2022.01.08 13:31

On 7 January, Foreign Vice-Minister Egidijus Meilūnas attended an extraordinary remote meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers to discuss the security situation in Europe in connection with the deployment of Russian troops near Ukraine and to conduct consultations before the intended contact of NATO and its allies with Russia, including the NATO-Russia Council scheduled for 12 January.

It was stated at the meeting that Russia's aggressive actions against neighbouring countries - the mobilization of military forces near the Ukrainian border and the occupation of its territories, military actions in Donbas, the militarization of Crimea and Kaliningrad, cyber attacks, etc. - undermine security in Europe. In this context, NATO stands ready to take all necessary measures to ensure the security and defense of its members.

"There are currently no signs of Russia's efforts to de-escalate the situation. The mobilization of Russian forces and revanchist rhetoric necessitate the strengthening of deterrence and collective defense measures, so we are seeking additional security guarantees in NATO's eastern flank," said Egidijus Meilūnas.

The Vice-Minister also drew attention to the integration of Russia and Belarus. "The deepening Russian-Belarusian military integration and Russia's growing military presence in Belarus cannot be ignored. It is essential that NATO takes this important factor into account," he stressed.

Representatives of NATO countries discussed further political and practical support for Ukraine under pressure from Russia. It was agreed that any Russian aggression against Ukraine should receive a response that would be costly for Russia. A meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission is scheduled for 10 January, at which the allies will discuss the security situation with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister.

While discussing preparations for the NATO-Russia Council, the allies emphasized that NATO remained committed to a dual track policy towards Russia, namely strengthening deterrence and defense, and dialogue. However, this dialogue must be conducted in accordance with the principles of unity of the allies, reciprocity, respect for international law and other cornerstones of European security. A prerequisite for further dialogue is that Russia must take clear steps to reduce tensions.

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