Presidential palace Intelligence Assessment: Moscow's priority is to rebuild military power

On Monday, the National Defence Council (NDC), convened by President Gitanas Nausėda, discussed the annual report of the intelligence institutions, the assessment of the threat of military aggression and its developments, as well as scenarios for future threats.

Kęstutis Budrys.<br>T.Bauro nuotr.
Kęstutis Budrys.<br>T.Bauro nuotr.
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Mar 6, 2023, 7:30 PM, atnaujinta Mar 6, 2023, 7:31 PM

"Regarding the assessment of the threat of military aggression, the members of the NDC listened to the intelligence assessment and the available information. It is evident that rebuilding and building up military power will be Moscow's priority in the short, medium and long term.

How quickly this can be done, the implementation of the plans already announced and those that the aggressive regime is reluctant to announce, will depend on the outcome of the war in Ukraine, the continuation of Western sanctions, the imposition of new sanctions, and the actions of NATO," Budrys said.

According to him, NATO members are also adapting to the security situation in the region.

"Regional defence plans are being reviewed and there is talk of a new generation of plans. The structure of NATO forces, the model of NATO forces itself, and the headquarters are being reviewed. All these changes will require changes in Lithuania as well", said the Presidential Adviser.

Budrys said that the members of the NDC had instructed the Minister of National Defence and the Chief of Defence to prepare an assessment of what further structural changes should be made to the Lithuanian Armed Forces in relation to the acquisition of military equipment.

"In order to reflect both the red picture - threats of military aggression in the region - and the so-called blue picture - changes in collective defence", he said.

The aim is to increase the size of the Lithuanian army

Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas himself announced that he is drawing up plans for the possible formation of a division of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.

"We talked about the possible future expansion of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. We need to make plans for that. We are talking about a division, a Lithuanian division on the basis of the existing land army and other capabilities. However, we still need to prepare for this, to calculate how much it will cost, what additional capabilities we could develop, what the allies could compensate us for until this long-term project is realised.

Let me stress that this would be a long-term project, basically a decade-long project," Anušauskas said after the NDC meeting.

According to him, such a need arises not only because of persistent regional threats, but also in the context of NATO's common defence plans on the Eastern flank. "Of course, this is a foreseeable expansion of the army and we just have to draw up concrete plans and present them at the next NDC meeting," he said.

However, Anušauskas said that it was too early to talk about the details of the concrete plan. "We have to check everything, count everything, and then we will be able to talk more precisely."

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