Landsbergis meets U.S. Senator Durbin: "The U.S. presence in Lithuania strengthens the whole of Europe, and a safer Europe increases the transatlantic security"

During his visit to Washington, D.C., Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabrielius Landsbergis, met with U.S. Senator Richard Durbin.

"The U.S. presence in Lithuania strengthens the whole of Europe, and a safer Europe increases the transatlantic security," Landsbergis noted at the meeting.

The Foreign Minister underlined the importance of the U.S. security assistance to the Baltic states and presented Lithuania's investments in defence and security enhancement initiatives.

"We are grateful for Senator Durbin's efforts to provide military support to Lithuania under the Baltic Security Initiative and for the U.S. attention to the defence of NATO's eastern flank. But we are also sparing no effort to boost our security – defence spending already exceeds 3% of GDP, we are expanding and improving military infrastructure and increasing investment in the defence industry," he said.

Landsbergis also pointed out that U.S. political support and military assistance to Ukraine were important factors in building Lithuanian citizens' trust in NATO and its partners.

"The dozens of deaths caused by the brutal bombing of Kyiv's hospital is a more serious signal than ever that Russia will not stop as long as Ukraine's ability to strike Russian military facilities is limited," the Foreign Minister said.

Senator Durbin, of Lithuanian descent, is the Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus co-chair and the Senate Majority Whip. For his constant and varied assistance, he was awarded the Commander's Grand Cross of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, the Aleksandras Stulginskis Star, and Lithuania's Diplomacy Star.

Launched in 2020, the Baltic Security Initiative (BSI) is a measure through which the U.S. Department of Defence supports developing military capability and interoperability of the armed forces of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. BSI support to all three Baltic states has increased in recent years. In fiscal year 2022, it amounted to $150 million; in 2023, it reached $225 million; and in 2024, it increased to $228 million. The U.S. financial support to Lithuania and other Baltic states through the BSI allows the acquisition of capabilities that help to fill critical capability gaps (e.g. air defence, regional long-range artillery capabilities, surveillance of the marine environment, etc.).