Press release, 5 March 2020
During his working visit to Washington (United States of America), Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas, met with Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives. The Speaker of the Seimas started the meeting by thanking the United States for all the support since the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, the 30th anniversary of which Lithuania will celebrate next week.
The Speaker of the Seimas assured Ms Pelosi that Lithuania appreciated the role of the US Congress in ensuring overall security in the Baltic region. Viktoras Pranckietis noted that, by allocating 2 percent of their GDP to the defence sector, the Baltic States and Poland contribute not only to national security but also to NATO’s overall security.
‘The US is undoubtedly our important partner. We purchase a significant part of our military equipment from US companies. The amount of equipment we acquire over a period of five years totals to approximately half a billion dollars. We have bought Oshkosh combat vehicles, and now we are planning to acquire the Black Hawk helicopters,’ said Mr Pranckietis.
A US battalion with heavy armour is currently deployed in Lithuania. It comprises more than 500 US troops and 30 tanks.
The Speaker of the Seimas highlighted that Russia still remains the most serious threat in the region. Lithuania congratulates the US on its firm stance with regard to maintaining and strengthening the sanctions as long as Russia does not change its behaviour.
‘With the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the unsafe Astravyets nuclear power plant in Belarus, Russia has been using energy as a political weapon and an attempt to exert influence’, said Mr Pranckietis at his meeting with the Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
The Speaker of the Seimas emphasised that the US presence in the region is of great significance for Lithuania and invited Ms Pelosi to visit our country.
During the visit, the Speaker of the Seimas also met with James E. Risch, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Bob Menendez, Vice-Chairman of the Committee; Senator Richard Durbin; John Shimkus and Adam Schiff, leaders of the Baltic Caucus of the House of Representatives, and Chris Smith, Member of the US Congress. Transatlantic and bilateral cooperation issues and regional security challenges were discussed during the meetings.
Pranešimą paskelbė: Monika Kutkaitytė, Lietuvos Respublikos Seimo kanceliarija