Vilnius host discussions over main issues on NATO agenda

Ministry of National Defense
Republic of Lithuania
Presss Office
January 17, 2008

May media representatives be reminded that January 31 is the last day of applying for accreditation to cover NATO Defence Ministers’ meeting. Application can be made only electronically, more information can be found in the homepage of the National Defence Ministry, for more details contact Public Relations Department.

NATO Defence Ministers’ meeting that will take place in Vilnius on February 7-8 is planned to be the most extensive NATO event organised in Lithuania. The meeting will draw together representatives of almost one fourth of the world’s countries; despite delegations from NATO members, representatives of partners of the Alliance taking part in international operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan and representatives of the Ukraine, Russia and Afghanistan will come. High officers of the United Nations, European Commission, World Bank, and other influential international institutions and organisations will be present at the conference.

More than 50 delegations and about a thousand of participants and foreign reporters should take part in the meeting.

“For two days Vilnius will be the main focus of attention of the international community. Ministers will touch upon the issues of global security and NATO agenda from practical to strategic points. Issues important for the Alliance, i.e. NATO transformation, development, and formation of capabilities will be addressed as well as issues important for the whole of international community, i.e. peace enhancement and ensurement of economic development in Afghanistan and Kosovo, and cooperation of NATO with other partners,” said National Defence Minister Juozas Olekas.

Meeting in Vilnius will be divided into five separate sessions – sitting of North Atlantic Council, NATO-Ukraine Commission and NATO-Russia Council, consultations of countries contributing to NATO-led peace support operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan.

“It was a great recognition of our competence to entrust us with organisation of an event of such scope and importance to Vilnius. It is also an exclusive opportunity to make the name of our country known to the world and to introduce to global audience Lithuania and Vilnius, European Capital of Culture 2009,” said National Defence Minister.

Organisers of “Vilnius – the European Capital of Culture 2009” programme will introduce to the guests of the event and media representatives expositions introducing Vilnius as centre of multinational culture, baroque style as the most prominent accent of Vilnius architecture, vanguard art movement “Fluxus”, and the most important events of “Vilnius – the European Capital of Culture 2009” programme.

Vilnius has already hosted two NATO top level ministerial meetings – informal meeting of foreign affairs ministers in spring 2005, and informal NATO-Ukraine defence consultations at ministerial level in autumn of the same year.

Joint working group for organisation of the event was formed on June 27 of 2007 as directed by decree No. 226 of the Prime Minister.