YEREVAN, April 23. / ARKA /. Visiting Lithuanian defense minister Juozas Olekas told in Yerevan today that developments in Ukraine have prompted the Baltic countries to step up their cooperation with NATO.
Speaking at a news conference in Yerevan he said the alliance has particularly increased the number of aircraft stationed in the Baltic States and also the number of war games which involve also Lithuania.
"We want to resolve the situation in Ukraine and around it peacefully, however the Baltic States, including Lithuania, can not live outside this situation, and that is why we have increased cooperation with NATO," he said after talks with his Armenian counterpart Seyran Ohanyan.
According to him, Russia’s occupation of Crimea has brought about quite a different situation in Europe.
‘We want peace and stability with our neighbors, including Russia, " he said. He blamed Russia for NATO’s decision to cut a number of joint programs with it.
In the latest related development a Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby, said an initial contingent of about 600 troops will head to Poland, Estonia Latvia and Lithuania for military land-based exercises over the next month.-0-