Seminar in Stockholm – on 2014 NATO summit decisions and implications for Baltics, Europe and Trans-Atlantic relations

Photo courtesy of the Lithuanian Embassy in Stockholm

“The decisions adopted in NATO Summit in Cardiff are important for all parties: NATO members and NATO partners. Therefore, it is very important that the results of the NATO Summit are discussed in Sweden, – one of the most active NATO partner. The crisis in Ukraine and the aggressive Russia’s plans in the Baltic Sea region foster the mobilization of our forces and encourage us to be ready to respond to any unexpected threats”, Ambassador said to the participants of the conference.

The prominent officials from NATO, security policy experts, representatives from Sweden, Finland, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia discussed the possible implications of the Summit in Cardiff for the Baltic Sea Region, for Europe and for the Trans-Atlantic Relations.

The conference was moderated by Ambassador Mats Åberg, Secretary General of the Swedish Atlantic Council, and Dr. Carolina Vendil Pallin, Deputy Research Director and Head of the Russia Programme, Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI).

A view from the NATO Secretariat was presented during the conference. Mr. James Appathurai, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, emphasized that during the preparatory meetings for the 2014 NATO Summit in Cardiff one year ago, it was hard to imagine that the most prominent question during the summit would be the Russian threats.

Ambassador Kęstutis Jankauskas, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to NATO, reviewed the results of the NATO Summit in Cardiff and their implications for the Trans-Atlantic Relations and the Baltic Sea region. Jankauskas emphasized that NATO Readiness Action Plan is the most important outcome of the Summit for Lithuania which will allow to address the new security challenges and will help to adjust to a new security environment. According to Jankauskas, it is also very important that the allies agreed unitedly about the NATO cornerstone – collective defense which cannot be interrupted by any political agreements with the third countries, including Russia. “I would like to welcome a consensus that in case of a conflict the defense of the Eastern NATO members, including Lithuania, will not be restrained because of the Founding Act between NATO – Russia”.

The participants of the seminar Ambassador Kęstutis Jankauskas, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to NATO, Małgorzata Kosiura-Kaźmierska, Security Policy Department Deputy Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Poland, Elina Seppet, NATO and EU Department Director, Ministry of Defense, Estonia and Ambassador Baiba Braze, Director General, Directorate of Security Policy and International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Latvia, Charly Salonius-Pasternak, Senior Research Fellow, Finnish Institute of International Affairs; Ambassador Michael Sahlin, PhD, President of the Swedish Atlantic Council presented the positions of their countries` on security issues.

The seminar was organized by The Swedish Atlantic Council in cooperation with the Embassy of Lithuania and NATO. The Swedish Atlantic Council is a non-political organization aiming to promote broad and unbiased discussions on security issues in Sweden, concentrating on Sweden’s security situation and goals, on transatlantic security co-operation in Europe and beyond. The Council organises conferences, study tours, provides and spreads information, publishes reports.

Recently the Embassy has organized a sequence of lectures and meetings with the representatives of the Swedish academic and non-governmental organizations to discuss topical NATO and Baltic region security issues.

In capacity of NATO Contact Point Embassy 2013-2014, the Embassy of Lithuania in Sweden is responsible for providing and spreading the information about the Alliance, organizing the events and giving the support for the Alliance country-partner Sweden for accomplishing the variety of NATO programs and projects.

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