“The mission is a superb example of Allied solidarity and smart defence. By protecting the air space of Lithuania and other Baltic states, you are contributing to enhanced security in the region, as well as the rest of the Alliance and Europe,” Linkevičius said on Tuesday, thanking Italian and Polish aviators guarding the Baltic skies. The minister visited the Air Force Aviation Base in Šiauliai on the 11-year anniversary of the Lithuanian NATO membership and the start of the NATO air-policing mission.
The minister also thanked all Allied who have served in the Baltic air-policing mission over the 11 years, saying the mission was from the very first day a symbol of “Allied commitment to defend the Baltic states.”
“The continuing Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine restated the importance of our NATO membership and reminds that, together with our Allies, we must be always ready to defend the independence of our country and all members of the Alliance,” said Linkevičius.