Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė of Lithuania to NATO Headquarters on Thursday (3 June 2021) to discuss the preparations for the upcoming NATO Summit.
“We are well-prepared to take ambitious decisions, modernising our Alliance under the NATO 2030 initiative,” said Mr Stoltenberg. He added that this will include “a strengthened commitment to collective defence” with “continued improvements to our readiness and our capabilities”. The Secretary General welcomed Lithuania’s strong support for NATO’s continued adaptation, which he said should also include consulting more on all issues affecting the Alliance’s security, and an agreement to develop NATO’s next Strategic Concept.
During their meeting, the Secretary General and the Prime Minister also discussed the situation in Belarus, and in and around Ukraine. Mr Stoltenberg recalled that all Allies strongly condemn the arrest of the journalist Raman Pratasevich and his companion Sofia Sapega, and call for their immediate release. “I’m sure that at our Summit, leaders will discuss Belarus’s outrageous actions, as well as Russia’s continued pattern of reckless behaviour,” said the Secretary General, adding that this includes Russia’s continued significant military presence in and around Ukraine. He further expressed the Alliance’s full support to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Mr. Stoltenberg praised Lithuania’s commitment to the Alliance, including its hosting of the German-led multinational NATO battlegroup in Rukla, its contributions in Afghanistan, and its leadership on defence investment.