As Lithuania seeks allies to contribute to the recently agreed rotational air defence model in the Baltic states, Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas says he expects Finland and Sweden to contribute to the effort.
“We are looking at both new NATO members and future NATO members, of course, Finland and Sweden, which have certain capabilities,” Arvydas Anušauskas told BNS in an interview.
“I think they will definitely not refuse to participate in this model. But it just takes time to put everything in place,” he added.
NATO countries agreed on the air defence model in June this year in response to the Baltic states’ calls for the allies to strengthen air defence in the region.
Given the shortage of air defence weapons, the Baltic countries have proposed a rotational deployment of air defence capabilities.
According to the Baltics, this would allow a transition from almost 20 years of NATO air policing to an air defence mission.
According to Anušauskas, however, the number of countries capable of deploying air defence weapons in other countries can be counted “on the fingers of one hand”.
“Of course, we have been applying, negotiating, urging, talking at all levels, but I would not yet say that we have concrete commitments for temporary deployment. But I think that time will come,” he said.