Hungary pledges to conduct NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission in Lithuania in 2022
On 26 August at Šiauliai Air Base, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, who is visiting Hungarian troops in Lithuania. The Foreign Ministers discussed regional security, items on the European agenda, the situation in Ukraine, the relationship with Russia, bilateral and other issues.
"We are grateful to Hungary for its solidarity and support in ensuring security of the Baltic states and the region," said L. Linkevičius.
For the second time since 2015, the country has led NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission with JAS-39 Gripen fighter aircraft and an air force detachment based at Šiauliai Air Base in Lithuania. P.Szijjártó assured that Hungary would conduct NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission in Lithuania in 2022. This deployment is special, as it is the 50th NATO fighter detachment deployed over 15 years after Lithuania joined NATO in 2004. Lithuania and Hungary have developed their bilateral defense cooperation since 1997.
The Hungarian troops regularly participate in exercises in Lithuania and contribute to the training of soldiers of the Lithuanian Air Force Lithuanian. Hungary was also the first NATO country after the United States to send its rotational forces to Lithuania in 2014 as NATO Reassurance measure.
When discussing the European agenda, L. Linkevičius noted that the two countries had similar positions on most issues. Thus, closer cooperation would help to protect the interests of both countries in Brussels.
The two Foreign Ministers discussed the situation in Ukraine and relations with Russia. According to L. Linkevičius, it is necessary to maintain the EU's focus on and the Euro-Atlantic unity in regard to sanctions against Russia, as well as support for Ukraine.
Our countries are finding cooperation opportunities in the fields of lasers, pharmaceuticals, and other areas.