North Atlantic Council begins two-day visit to Lithuania

NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow and Lithuanian Defense Minister Juozas Olekas Photo: Kam.lt
NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow and Lithuanian Defense Minister Juozas Olekas Photo: Kam.lt

The principal political decision-making body within NATO – the North Atlantic Council (NAC) – began its two-day visit in Lithuania on March 23 in Vilnius.

The working session held on the first day of the visit and attended by Minister of National Defense Juozas Olekas, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius, and Chief of Defense of Lithuania Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Žukas, addressed NATO’s adaptation to the changed security environment.

The NAC session on March 24 will focus on the security situation in the region. A meeting with the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė will also be held. On the same day, members of the NAC will tour Pažaislis monastery and will visit the headquarters and training area of the Mechanized Infantry Brigade (MIB) Iron Wolf in Rukla, according to a press release of the Lithuanian Defense Ministry.

The attendees will be met by Minister of National Defense Juozas Olekas and Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Žukas. The Commander of the Lithuanian Land Force, Major General Almantas Leika and the Commander of the U.S. Army Europe, Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, will meet with the ambassadors of the NATO allies to present the allied forces deployed in the Baltic region in light of contemporary security challenges.

Lithuanian and allied troops will also demonstrate a dynamic display of a joint operation to the NATO ambassadors in the MIB Iron Wolf training area. The demonstration will be played out by Lithuanian and allied troops using military equipment of the Lithuanian Armed forces and that brought by the allies for joint exercises in Lithuania.

The North Atlantic Council was established by the North Atlantic Treaty. NAC meetings are held at permanent representative (ambassador) level. It also convenes at the ministerial level and at the level of heads of state and government. The NAC will pay a visit to Lithuania at the permanent representative level. NAC meetings in Lithuania will be chaired by the NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow.