Speaking at the opening, Lithuanian Ambassador in Stockholm Eitvydas Bajarūnas noted that Lithuanian Embassy has been entrusted with the honorable task – to represent NATO in Sweden, most active NATO partner. Therefore, the Embassy actively followed the debate on security and defense and contributed by disseminating information about the North Atlantic Alliance.
“The rapidly changing security environment encourages the Baltic Sea region to join forces in order to be ready together to counter emerging threats. In the face of the current security challenges is even more important the unity of actions, cooperation and effective common approach to security in the region – NATO member states and partners”, said Ambassador Bajarūnas.
Among invited guests event were attended by the Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist, Commander-in-Chief of Swedish Armed Forces General Sverker Göransson, Deputy Director of Security Policy Department, Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Małgorzata Kaźmierska, representatives of Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence, Swedish Armed Forces, Ambassadors and Defence Attaches of NATO countries, various Swedish institutions – Frivarld, Society and Defence (Folk och Försvar), Swedish Atlantic Council, SIPRI, Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Royals Swedish Academy of War Sciences, FOI, Swefish National Defence College, etc.
Defense Minister Hultqvist, addressing to the audience, thanked the Embassy of Lithuania for an active role in pursuance of the NATO Contact Embassy functions and welcomed the Polish Embassy, which has taken over these functions. Minister wished them success in further work. The Minister stressed that due to the changing security environment, Sweden is expanding and intensifying cooperation not only in NORDEFCO context, enhances the security and defenses relations with Baltic States and other countries in the region, but also seeks that the specific projects in partnership with the Alliance would be fruitful and mutually beneficial.
Deputy Director of Security Policy Department Kaźmierska assured the attendees that the Polish set priorities and objectives coincide with those carried out by the Embassy of Lithuania, and the Polish Embassy is honorably continuing the activities that were successfully carried out by the Embassy of Lithuania.
Lithuanian Embassy in Sweden within two years of NATO activities organized over a hundred events for the Swedish public, government institutions, academic and non-governmental organizations, in which NATO and the Baltic Sea region’s security, NATO Summit in Cardiff, NATO energy policy, and many other topics were discussed. NATO Contact Embassy functions are the dissemination of information about the Alliance, the organization of events and topics of NATO and support for Alliance partner Sweden due to implementing the various NATO projects and programs. The Embassy also organized educational events, worked with the media, public authorities and non-governmental organizations. Particular attention was paid to work with young people.
In the past, NATO Contact Embassy functions were performed by Lithuanian Embassy in Georgia (2011-2012), Moldova (2009-2010) and Belarus (2004-2010). Since 1st of January in 2015, Lithuanian Embassy in Ukraine has changed the former Polish representation in NATO Contact Embassy which has been in the past two years.