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NATO Parliamentary Assembly to discuss prospects for Alliance enlargement in Lithuania

May 30, 2014, 11:46 UTC+3 VILNIUS

The session's agenda includes an item regarding assistance to Ukraine

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VILNIUS, May 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Prospects for an enlargement of the North Atlantic Alliance, options for assistance to Ukraine, and forms of trans-Atlantic cooperation will be considered by participants in a spring-time session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, opening in the Lithuanian capital on Friday.

The press service of Lithuania's Seimas (parliament), which organizes the forum, reported that the three-day session would be addressed by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary-General of the Alliance.

The meeting will involve parliamentarians from NATO's 28 member-countries, representatives of Associated Members, Partner Countries, as well as delegations of the European Parliament and various international organizations about 600 people, all in all.

Vilnius remains one of the most active supporters of the idea to draw the post-Soviet countries into the orbit of the Alliance. In the opinion of Lithuanian politicians, Georgia is the main candidate so far for cooperation with NATO, possibly, in the form of indirect membership.

Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius visited Ukraine on May 28-29 ahead of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly session. Experts are inclined to link the two events. When in Kiev, experts say, the Lithuanian Foreign Minister is certain to have taken interest in the new authorities' outlook on support which the Alliance is prepared to give to the country which is experiencing an acute political crisis.

The session's agenda includes an item regarding assistance to Ukraine.

Worried by the geopolitical situation in the region, the Baltic States of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia insist on expansion of trans-Atlantic cooperation and US military presence. They have already achieved perceptible shifts in this respect. In Lithuanian, for example, a paratroop unit of the American Army has been already deployed. Observers believe that a call will be articulated at the session to render such presence permanent.

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