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Lithuania's stand on NATO's development presented to experts on NATO's Strategic Concept

Petras Vaida, BC, Vilnius, 25.03.2010.Print version
On Wednesday, Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Azubalis acquainted members of the Group of Experts on NATO's new Strategic Concept with Lithuania's position regarding the preparation of this document. Canadian and German members of the Group of Experts – Ambassadors Marie Gervais-Vidricaire and Hans Friedrich von Ploetz – and joint representative from the Baltic States to the group, Ambassador Aivis Ronis took part in the meeting, informed BC Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry.

The Minister stressed that the Article Five of the North Atlantic Treaty, which sets out the principle of collective defence, had to remain the key element of the new Strategic Concept, the press service of the Foreign Ministry reported.

 

According to Minister Azubalis, it is necessary for NATO to be more visible in member states, when organizing exercises and trainings, and when developing the infrastructure.

The Minister highlighted the importance of the U.S. nuclear presence in Europe and stated that an appropriate NATO's policy had to be implemented with regard to the new threats. Minister Azubalis identified two key areas: energy security and cyber-defence.

 

In the opinion of Minister Azubalis, the Alliance's relations with Russia had to be based on mutual trust and fulfilment of international obligations.

 

In February, the group of twelve experts chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, representatives from governmental and non-governmental organizations completed the stage of exchanging opinions. Currently, consultations of representatives from the Group of Experts are held in the capital cities of the NATO member states. After the consultations, the experts will issue a set of their recommendations to NATO's Secretary-General. Taking into account the opinion of the experts, NATO's Secretary-General would then develop the initial draft of NATO's Strategic Concept and would pass it on to the member countries to discuss it. NATO's Strategic Concept is the key document for the Alliance's activities. It outlines NATO's purpose and its tasks, evaluates the strategic security environment and the perspective of changes, as well as provides guidelines for further adaptation of the Alliance's military forces. At the Strasbourg-Kehl Summit in 2009, NATO leaders decided to prepare the new NATO's Strategic Concept, which is expected to be adopted at the next summit meeting in autumn 2010. The current Strategic Concept was issued in 1999.






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