On 6 March, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius opened the American-Lithuanian conference on air defence in the Baltic region in Washington, D.C. The publication ‘Toward Effective Air Defence in Northern Europe’ by Philip Breedlove, NATO's former Supreme Allied Commander Europe, was presented. One of the most important issues of our region’s capacities – the development of a regional air defence system – was discussed at the conference.
On 5 February in Vilnius, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius and the Deputy Secretary General of NATO Rose Gottemoeller discussed preparations for the upcoming meeting of heads of state and government of NATO member countries. Gottemoeller is visiting Lithuania on the occasion of the first anniversary of the deployment of the NATO enhanced forward presence battalion in Lithuania.
An informal Snow Meeting brought together Lithuanian and foreign security policy experts on 11-12 January in Trakai district. The meeting discussed the main challenges facing the transatlantic community and ways to respond to them.
“A smooth deployment of NATO’s additional forces in the Baltic states and Poland is the most significant step towards the consolidation of the Alliance’s collective defence after the end of the Cold War,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius at the NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Brussels.
“We face an unprecedented attempt to impact EU integration and at the same time to give a blow to the West seeking to undermine trust in democracy, human rights, solidarity, and the rule of law. Information campaigns are conducted and social networks are used to that end. The EU should resolutely withstand attempts to undermine ties with its citizens and with the countries aspiring to EU membership,” Linas Linkevičius stated at the Warsaw Security Forum.
The international seminar “Russia’s influence in the Baltic Sea Region – national and institutional experiences countering hybrid threats” was held in Vilnius on 7 November 2017. It aimed to consolidate the responses of participating countries to the challenges posed by hybrid threats and to get a better insight into the Russian influence in the Baltic region.
On 10 October in Vilnius, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Darius Skusevičius participated in a flag-raising ceremony at the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence. The centre that celebrates its 5th anniversary was joined by the United States of America and Germany.
On 9 October in Warsaw, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Darius Skusevičius attended the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of States of Central and Eastern Europe (B9). The countries are also member states of NATO. The Foreign Ministers agreed to further pursue concrete solutions to continue NATO’s adaptation to the new security environment.
On 6 October, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Neris Germanas met with members of a delegation of the National Defence Committee of the Polish Sejm (Parliament), led by the head of the Committee Michał Jach. The meeting once again recognized that Lithuania and Poland were equally aware and made the same evaluation of threats in the region, as well as they had found same ways to address them.
On 2 October, the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats was officially opened in Helsinki, Finland.
At his meeting in Washington on 22 September, Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius discussed Lithuanian and transatlantic security.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius, had a meeting with the United States Deputy Secretary of State, John J. Sullivan; Deputy National Security Adviser to the US President, Major General Ricky L. Waddell; and Senior Director for NATO/Europe, National Security Council, Richard J. Hooker, in Washington D.C. on 21 September 2017.
On 4 September in London, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania attended the Nordic-Baltic (NB8) and the UK Foreign Ministers’ meeting to discuss important security issues related to transatlantic ties, security in the region, the situation in North Korea and the Middle East, and the future of relations between the United States and Europe. Much attention was dedicated to the large-scale Russian 2017 Zapad military exercises in Belarus. The Foreign Ministers also considered options to ensure a more coordinated response to strategic challenges and hybrid threats.
On 22 August in Vilnius, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, Ambassador Kurt Volker, who attends a conference on regional leadership at Vilnius University. The conference is hosted by the President Valdas Adamkus.
On 9 August, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Darius Skusevičius met with Claudio Graziano, Chief of the Italian Army, who is visiting Lithuania. Lithuania’s Foreign Vice-Minister thanked Italy for its role in strengthening security of the Baltic States and underlined Lithuania’s readiness to continue to actively contribute to international efforts to counter terrorism, illegal migration and other threats to European security.