President discusses security situation with US Congress delegation
Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with members of the United States Congress delegation on Wednesday, discussing the security situation.
The delegation, consisting mostly of members of the Senate Committees on Appropriations and Armed Services, came to Lithuania to obtain direct knowledge about the security situation at the eastern borders of NATO and to assess the threats faced by the Baltic states, the President's Office said in a press release.
The recommendations of the committees are very important for the Congress' decisions on US military support for the Baltic states.
In the president's words, the US plays a cornerstone role in ensuring the security of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. She pointed out that Lithuania had always felt the solid support of the United States which contributed to the security of the Baltic people in very concrete ways: through troops, military equipment and funding. According to the press release, members of the Congress delegation underscored a firm commitment of the United States to NATO's collective defense
Presently, a proposal has been submitted to the Congress on increasing the funding for the European Deterrence Initiative by one third to reach almost five billion dollars as of next year. This is a financial program that funds the stationing of US troops and equipment in Europe, including the Baltic states, carrying out military exercises and upgrading the military infrastructure of European countries
NATO's forward presence battalion led by the US is stationed in Poland near the so-called Suwalki Corridor while the American troops and heavy equipment permanently rotate in the Baltic states on a bilateral basis.