Jump to search Jump to main navigation Jump to main content Jump to footer navigation

Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

Produced by
NationalJournal logo

Lithuania Open to U.S. Offer on Missile Shield Site

Lithuania would consider hosting U.S. missile interceptors if asked, an official said yesterday (see GSN, June 18).

The Bush administration has reportedly been eyeing the former Soviet republic as a fallback site if Poland cannot be persuaded to accept 10 U.S. missile interceptors.  Officials in Vilnius and Washington have both said that there have been no formal talks on the matter.

"We should consider all the pluses and minuses," said Defense Minister Juozas Olekas.  However, "we believe that agreement with Poland will be made," he added.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has driven a hard bargain, suggesting Washington must provide tens of millions of dollars for military modernization to see the deal realized.

Washington hopes to deploy an early warning radar in the Czech Republic to complement the interceptor site.  The European installations would be intended to provide added defense against potential missile threats from nations such as Iran.

Lithuania supports programs that would boost the defenses of NATO states, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Violeta Gaizauskaite.

"We are interested in this project and see it as a very important project to increase security," she told AFP.  "The NATO summit in Bucharest approved this project and we believe it should be implemented" (see GSN, April 3; Agence France-Presse/Yahoo!News, June 18).

Russia, however, would probably be angered by the placement of a U.S. missile defense installation on former Soviet territory, the New York Times reported.  Moscow has already threatened military responses to the Bush administration plan for Poland and the Czech Republic.

"The last thing we need is another conflict with Russia," said Gereon Schuch, of the German Council for Foreign Affairs.

"There is no doubt that Russia would exploit this to the full if parts of the U.S. missile shield were based here," said Vilnius University political science professor Raimundas Lopata (Judy Dempsey, New York Times, June 19).



NTI Analysis

  • Sub-Saharan Africa 1540 Reporting

    Jan. 9, 2014

    The UNSCR 1540 implementation process in sub-Saharan Africa has been slow. As of October 2011, 26 of the 48 states in the region have submitted 1540 national reports.

  • Latin America and the Caribbean 1540 Reporting

    Nov. 8, 2013

    This report is part of a collection examining implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires all states to implement measures aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring NBC weapons, related materials, and their means of delivery. It details implementation efforts in Central America, South America and the Caribbean to-date.

Country Profile

Flag of Lithuania


This article provides an overview of Lithuania’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

Learn More →