Russia: Deployment of Patriot anti-missile systems in Lithuania will destabilize the region

The words of Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite about the appropriateness of deploying American Patriot missile systems in the Baltic can lead to an escalation of tension in the region, as relayed to RIA Novosti by Mikhail Ulyanov, Director of the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On Thursday, Grybauskaite attended Tobruq Legacy 2017, a NATO Air Force exercise in Siauliai. In her speech, the Lithuanian President stated the need for a permanent presence of American anti-aircraft missile systems in the Baltic region. According to her, this would ensure "a higher level of security for all of our countries."

"This statement testifies to the continuation of Vilnius’s line to escalate tension and increase armaments, and not even their own, but those belonging to third countries in close proximity to Russian borders," Ulyanov said.

"It is unclear how this can contribute to the strengthening of security in the Baltic region, including the security of Lithuania itself. The effect of implementing such appeals would certainly be the opposite: after all, in international relations, including the military sphere, any action gives rise to counteraction. Apparently, those negative consequences for the state of affairs in Europe, which are caused by the creation of missile defense facilities in Romania and Poland, are not enough for Lithuanian leadership, and they would like to aggravate the situation even more," the diplomat added.

According to him, the Vilnius’s position "runs counter to that of Lithuania's allies in NATO and the European Union, who are seriously concerned about dangerous trends on the European continent and call for their elimination."

"I would remind you that at the end of last year, at the OSCE Ministerial Meeting in Hamburg, at Germany’s initiative there was a decision made to start a "structured dialogue" in the security sphere for this purpose. Although Lithuania joined this decision, Vilnius in its national policy, apparently, relies not on a dialogue, but on strengthening military confrontation," Ulyanov noted.

In July 2016, at a NATO summit in Warsaw, a decision was made to "strengthen the eastern flank." To this end, the alliance intends to deploy an international battalion in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland. This battalion will be created by troops from Great Britain, Germany, Canada, and the USA.

  Russia, Patriot missile systems, Lithuania