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Lithuania, Slovenia to strengthen bilateral ties

Staff Writer |
Slovenia understands the threats that the region is facing and helps to counter them, which is appreciated in Lithuania, the Baltic country's President Dalia Grybauskaite said after meeting with her Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor.

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The two leaders focused on EU issues, cooperation in NATO and bilateral relations, Lithuanian Presidency said in a statement.

According to Grybauskaite, Slovenian troops who will soon join the NATO multinational battalion in Latvia is a symbol of allied unity.

She pointed out that regularly updated defense plans for the Baltic states based on concrete military capabilities, decisions on regional air defense, and more rapid decision-making process within NATO were the steps necessary to ensure the security of the region and of the whole alliance.

The two presidents also discussed response to cyber and hybrid threats. Grybauskaite underlined that such threats required immediate and united response, and that defense capabilities had to be reinforced not only on land, at sea and in the air, but also in cyber space.

The president of Slovenia admitted that his country is not prepared to appropriately respond to cyber attacks.

"We are worried about cyber security and threats; I think we are entering the new era which requires a new paradigm of solving security issues," he underlined.

Meanwhile, Lithuania has already taken steps towards ensuring cyber-security. A national cyber security center is operating in Vilnius, cyber defense plans have been approved, and regular national cyber security exercises are being held, the country's presidency lists out in the statement.

The presidents also discussed bilateral economic relations. Trade between Lithuania and Slovenia grew by five percent over the last year.

However, there still exists a large untapped potential for cooperation in information technologies, life sciences, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, and agriculture, the statement reads.

The president of Slovenia also met with Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.

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