On January 16 Minister of National Defence of Lithuania Raimundas Karoblis and Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister of Latvia Artis Pabriks discussed over a working lunch topical aspects of security from bilateral and regional point of view, and their countries’ objective to ensure constant exchange of information concerning changes in the security situation.
“Latvia is our important partner in security and defence. The recent deterioration in the security situation in Iraq demonstrated an appropriate constant operational level communication with Latvia concerning Iraq concerning,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis said.
Ministers also addressed their countries’ contributions to international operations, assessment of security situation in the Middle East. They also agreed that coordination of the U.S. aid for defence capacity building among the three Baltic states is an important issue.
The officials also visited the National Energy Security Centre under the Lithuanian MoD and were briefed by its Director Dr Rytis Rainys on the tools (sensors) used by the National Cyber Security Centre for detecting cyber-attacks and workspace of the incident management CERT-LT, the scope and harm caused by the cyber-attacks seen in Lithuania. Both countries are facing significant cybersecurity challenges, and cyber-incident statistics is essentially alike. Ministers agreed that cooperation between national CERTs, CERT-LT and CERT-LV, should be stepped up.
Later Ministers left for the informal security policy experts’ forum in Trakai organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Snow Meeting. The event addresses the main challenges faced by the transatlantic community and response to them.
Security and defence cooperation of Lithuania and Latvia
Latvia is one of the most important partners to Lithuania in security and defence area with the cooperation lasting for several decades already.
Key goal of the Lithuanian-Latvian cooperation is to strengthen national capabilities, development of the Baltic projects and representation of mutual interests in NATO. Baltic projects, such as the Baltic Defence College, assignment of a joint Baltic military unit for standby in NATO units are also in active operation.
The Baltic countries organise and take part in joint exercises, deploy troops to take part in exercises in other NATO allies’ territories. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia coordinate actively with each other on the deployment of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Groups in the region, defence planning, and cooperate closely in strategic communication.
Another important priority of Baltic cooperation is simplification of procedures of deployment and movement of NATO forces in the region. Baltic Ministers of Defence signed a joint communique defining the simplification on 15 February 2017.