U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, currently on a visit to Lithuania, confirmed in Vilnius on Wednesday that the United States as well as NATO’s contribution to the security of the Baltic states was steadfast. Mattis is scheduled to meet the Baltic states’ defense ministers this afternoon.
Defense Secretary Mattis met with Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite on Wednesday morning. Mattis said after his meeting with Grybauskaite that the U.S. contribution to Baltic security would continue, and that NATO’s efforts in the region were steadfast.
Mattis will meet the defense ministers of the Baltic states at the General Silvestras Žukauskas training area in Pabradė as well, as ERR reported.
At the press conference following the meeting, journalists’ questions concentrated on air defense, bringing up a potential deployment of the U.S. Patriot system or missiles in the region. Though Mattis did not answer specifically, he confirmed that units and equipment would be placed in the Baltic region as necessary, stressing again that NATO was a defensive alliance.
President Dalia Grybauskaite added that all the necessary steps would be discussed with the Americans, and that future plans would be developed starting there.
After Mattis’ visit of the Lithuanian military training area in Pabradė, he will continue on to London.
Editor: Dario Cavegn