The next NATO summit is to take place in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July next year, that country's public broadcaster, LRT, reports.
The summit will necessarily focus on strengthening the alliance's collective defensive and deterrence posture, continued support for Ukraine and is forecast to welcome Finland and Sweden to their first ever NATO summit as full-fledged member states, LRT reports on its English-language portal.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, whose term was in September extended for one year due to the changed security situation, made the announcement and informed representatives of all member states on Wednesday about the official date for the summit, which takes place in the Lithuanian capital July 11-12, 2023, LRT reports.
Lithuania's foreign minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, said of the news that: "We are very proud to host a NATO summit in Vilnius; hopefully, it will be a celebration of victory. For this to happen, we call on our partners not only to continue but also to increase their support for Ukraine."
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said that he, too, was looking forward to welcoming allies and like-minded partners in the Lithuanian capital.
"Facing Russia's bloody war in Ukraine, we stand in unity and solidarity, committed to collective defense," he wrote on his social media account.
It's official: #NATO Summit in Vilnius will take place on 11-12 July, 2023.— Gitanas Nausėda (@GitanasNauseda) November 9, 2022
Looking forward to welcoming allies & partners at #VilniusSummit!
Facing Russia's bloody war in Ukraine, we stand in unity & solidarity, committed to collective defense. #WeAreNATO #StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/Y4qbHvCqCu
Minister Landsbergis said the choice of Vilnius for the summit highlighted the importance of NATO's Eastern Flank and its security, and sent a strong signal that ensuring the Baltic region's security was paramount for the entire alliance, but also vindicated the host nation as a reliable and competent ally.
The Lithuanian foreign ministry noted that Secretary General Stoltenberg had also thanked Lithuania for its readiness to host the summit.
I thank our valued Ally #Lithuania for hosting the 2023 #NATOSummit in Vilnius on 11-12 July next year. This will be an opportunity to further strengthen our Alliance, step up support to #Ukraine & address key security matters at this critical time. https://t.co/95WOSU8o8f— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) November 9, 2022
LRT, citing the foreign ministry, puts the summit's budget at an estimated €30 million.
The Vilnius Summit takes place Tuesday, July 11 to Wednesday, July 12, 2023. The last NATO summit was held in Madrid in July this year, and many of the decisions hammered out there, including the impending provision of UK Chinook and Apache helicopters to Estonia, have already borne fruit.
Editor: Andrew Whyte