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VILNIUS, September 5 (Itar-Tass) - Defense Ministers of the European Union countries are gathering here Thursday for a conference where they will discuss new challenges in the sphere of European security, consolidation of military rapport with NATO and a buildup of cooperation with partners of both NATO and the EU.
Ministers from over twenty countries are expected to attend the two-day conference that is held in the framework of Lithuania’s term of the EU Council rotating presidency. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the EU Commissioner for Foreign and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, are due to come to Vilnius alongside the ministers.
Lithuanian Defense Minister Yuozas Olekas, the host of the conference believes that the EU should elaborate the pattern of efficacious reacting to critical situations.
“We’re going to make a proposal to begin discussion of the problem of the EU’s new security strategy guidelines, since the previous document of this kind was adopted ten years ago,” Olekas said. “New challenges and threats have emerged in the world since that time.”
He believes that the EU might, among other things, use its international military groups more efficiently. Also, it might strengthen ties with NATO and with partners in the East.
“NATO and the EU could augment each other’s efforts in security,” Olekas said. “Also, it’s important to attract our eastern partners to security maintenance efforts,” he said making an allusion to the EU’s Eastern Partnership program, which embraces Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
Although the situation in and around Syria is not included in the agenda but experts do not rule out this problem may also be taken up at the conference table.