Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller met with the Lithuanian Minister of Defence Raimundas Karoblis today at the Pentagon. Acting Secretary Miller noted the important role Lithuania plays in NATO’s readiness, including its support to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) and its central role in maintaining an effective deterrent against Russia in the Baltic region.
The leaders exchanged views on the way forward on implementation of decisions made at the recent NATO Defense Ministerial, as well as on bilateral defense concerns.
Acting Secretary Miller emphasized the value of our close security partnership, including the important role of U.S. security assistance in helping develop Lithuania’s capabilities and infrastructure, as well as efforts to improve interoperability.
Acting Secretary Miller thanked Minister Karoblis for exceeding NATO defense spending and modernization commitments. He also thanked the Defence Minister for Lithuania’s international diplomats, his offer to continue hosting U.S. forces, and for Lithuania’s support to the International Maritime Security Construct.
Acting Secretary Miller and Minister Karoblis signed a document acknowledging Lithuania’s Letter of Offer and Acceptance to procure U.S. UH-60M Black Hawks to help modernize its helicopter fleet and further NATO interoperability. This procurement, with an expected value of $243 million, will be the largest host-nation-funded procurement of U.S. defense articles in Lithuanian history.
The two leaders agreed on the importance of the ongoing cooperation and pledged to continue this path in the future for the benefit of both countries’ shared security interests and the U.S.-Lithuania bilateral defense agenda.