VILNIUS, November 21 (Sputnik) – Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will discuss security and the situation in Ukraine on Friday, the president's press service has said in a statement.
"The President and the NATO Secretary General will discuss regional security and defence issues, and the situation in Ukraine. Among the other topics on the meeting's agenda is the implementation of the collective defence measures endorsed at the NATO Summit in Wales," the statement, released Thursday, said.
"President Dalia Grybauskaitė and the NATO Secretary General will also meet with Lithuanian and allied military personnel," the statement added.
Stoltenberg was on a one-day visit to Estonia on Thursday and will arrive in Lithuania on Friday, at the invitation of president Grybauskaite.
According to the president's press service, the NATO chief and the Lithuanian leader will visit the Air Space Control Centre in Karmelava, the main function of which "is to carry out air defense operations, including command and control over the fighter jets participating in the Baltic air policing mission".
Baltic countries do not have the jets necessary for air patrols. As such, since their April 2004 accession to NATO, the security of Baltic airspace is maintained by NATO, which has planes based in Lithuania.
Over the past few months, NATO has been increasing the number of troops stationed in the Baltic region after a political crisis erupted in Ukraine and Crimea reunified with Russia in March. The alliance justifies its excessive presence close to Russian borders as its duty to guarantee the security of its allies.
Russia has repeatedly expressed concern over the increasing and excessive NATO military presence along its eastern border.