Lithuanian president calls for strengthening NATO’s eastern flank

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has said Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and unrest following the uprising by Wagner mercenary troops highlighted the need for a stronger NATO presence.

He said the presence should be along the alliance’s eastern flank.

“This is the frontline of NATO where there is no place for even the slightest security gap,’’ Nausėda said on Monday.

He said this in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius following a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

“Last weekend’s events in Russia have demonstrated the instability of the Kremlin regime.

“This undoubtedly has implications for the security both in Lithuania and the region,’’ he added.

Lithuania borders the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad as well as Russian ally Belarus.

Lithuania is currently hosting NATO exercises this week and would host the alliance’s summit on July 11-12.

“For the Baltic region and the entire Eastern Flank, air and missile defence and an increase presence of allied forces on the territories of our countries are critically important.

“Effective deterrence and forward defence are our top priorities,’’ Nausėda said.


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