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    Lithuania Considers Russia's Talks Proposal, Needs to Consult With Allies

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    Lithuania will carefully consider Russia's proposal for closer cooperation in security sphere and will hold consultations with its allies prior to making any decision, Lithuania’s Ambassador to Russia Remigijus Motuzas told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In early August, the Russian Defense Ministry announced it is ready for military consultations with all neighboring countries to avoid incidents at sea and in the air. It proposed joint incident prevention work on the basis of bilateral agreements, and consultations with the defense ministries of the Baltic states, including Lithuania, to address mutual concerns related to military activities in border areas.

    "We have received Russia‘s proposals and will consider them carefully in close consultations with our allies, before taking the next steps," Motuzas said.

    On August 23, after the talks at the Baltic Summit in Riga, the presidents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania agreed with US Vice President Joe Biden to strengthen security cooperation as part of their effort to boost NATO’s collective defense.

    Lithuanian largest-ever purchase of armored vehicles, to be procured from Germany, does not pose any threat to Moscow and therefore is unlikely to affect the country’s relations with Russia, Remigijus Motuzas told Sputnik.

    On August 22, Lithuania’s Defense Ministry signed a contract worth 386 million euros ($436 million) with the German armored vehicle technology company (ARTEC) for the purchase of 88 Boxer armored fighting vehicles.

    "The acquisition of the [Boxer] modern armored fighting vehicles is one of the projects, aimed at the modernization of the national armed forces and increasing stability in the region. We are determined to defend our country. [Any] statement that Lithuania could pose a threat to Russia would be an exaggeration," Motuzas said, asked whether the step by Vilnius can affect the country's relations with Russia.

    When announcing the signing of the deal, Lithuanian Defense Minister Juozas Olekas described it as the single biggest procurement deal in the history of the Lithuanian army.

    "The security situation is the main challenge in our region and requires additional attention, means and efforts, which would help stop the proliferation of instability," the ambassador said.

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