by Mr Romas
Mr. Secretary General
Deputy Minister of National Defense of Lithuania
at the Meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
Your Excellencies Ministers and Ambassadors
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is an honor for me to be part of this conference and to say a few
words about issues that concern Lithuania.
Lithuania would like to express its sympathy to the United Kingdom for
the tragic loss of Brigadier Stephen Saunders.
Three days ago the Baltic Regional Air Space Surveillance Center was
dedicated in Lithuania. This is an example of another successful joint
endeavor between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that will allow all three
to monitor their airspace and provide each of the three countries real-time
monitoring data. Our thanks to all those NATO partners who helped us finance
and develop this project, especially Norway, the United States and Denmark.
Lithuania is indeed very grateful for the significant amount of material
military assistance that it is receiving from our NATO partners and Scandinavia.
- Air Defense weapons system from Sweden.
- Engineer battalion and school from Denmark
- Mine hunter and machine guns from Germany
- Infantry weapons from Poland
- State of the art secure military radio equipment financed through
FMF program of the United States - annual assistance program
- English language laboratories from the UK and US
- Training support from the UK, US, Denmark, Germany and many other
partner countries. 1,200 officers and men have received specialised
military training in various Western countries.
This material help has allowed us to concentrate our efforts on professionalizing
and Westernizing our military training programs.
- The Military Academy is being reformed to produce a leader rather
than a narrow specialist.
- NCO school is concentrating on honing the skills of the professional
- 11-week basic training program for the conscripts has been designed
by the Royal Marines and now executed by over 100 Lithuanian instructors.
Includes military and citizenship training.
Since 1995 Lithuania has contributed over 600 military personnel in support
of SFOR and KFOR peacekeeping operations. One soldier lost his life. Lithuania
will continue to support these operations in the future. In addition,
Lithuania is currently planning to deploy approximately 100 military personnel
to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Lebanon. The Lithuanian contingent
will operate as part of the Polish force which is planning to deploy within
the next two months.
In conclusion permit me to say a few words about the Vilnius Conference
of the 9 NATO aspirant countries of 19 May of this year. These 9 nations,
representing 53 million people united their voices to say to the world
loudly and clearly that they have as much of a right to security and stability
as anyone else. That they share Western values of democracy, justice,
freedom and respect for human rights, and that they should not and cannot
be excluded from a Europe that is whole and free.