Ušackas plans to seek establishment of US army base in Lithuania

Vygaudas Ušackas

Ambassador Vygaudas Ušackas, a presidential candidate, plans to seek the establishment of an American military base in Lithuania, aimed at deterring Russia.

"I will seek the establishment of a US military base in the territory of Lithuania and permanent deployment of a US army contingent," according to Ušackas' election campaign guidelines published on Thursday.

Ušackas says Russia's actions undermining Europe's security architecture based on international law pose threat to Lithuania's security, and there are no grounds to expect fundamental change in the relations any time soon.

Ušackas also proposes setting the goal of increasing defense spending to 2.5 percent GDP as early as in 2024 to bolster defense. Lithuania's State Defense Council and the majority of parliamentary parties have agreed to reach this threshold by 2030.

Ušackas believes Lithuania must regain is leading role in the region and restore the Eastern partnership program involving Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.

Lithuania "must be the nucleus of integration processes in the European Union“, he says. He also sees the EU as a union of nations where states decide on their own integration depth and scope.

If elected president, Ušackas pledges to promote economic diplomacy, investment and trade.

Ušackas will vie against MP Ingrida Šimonytė in the opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats' presidential primaries. The party plans to select its presidential candidate in early November.

Source: BNS
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