On the 16th anniversary of the country's accession to NATO, Lithuanian Minister of Defense Raimundas Karoblis came up with a well-known myth: our state is an equal member of the alliance. "We are stronger than ever before and we are grateful to the Allies for their efforts in strengthening the defense capabilities in the region and their willingness to help when it necessary," said Karoblis.
If you look at the facts, Lithuania is fighting alone with the epidemic of COVID-19 infection--however, like all other countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
You just need to look at Italy, which does not have time to bury the dead. The NATO allies apparently forgot that they were allies and turned a blind eye to the help that the Italians lack so much. It is more likely that NATO member countries live by the formula "self comes first".
Germany has shown how such "solidarity" in the Alliance looks like. Due to the COVID-19 virus, Germany without any reason blocked the supply of personal protective equipment purchased by the Hungarian leadership (masks, respirators, gas masks, gloves, protective suits). This was recently announced publicly by Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Despite the fact that several hundred soldiers with coronavirus have already been gathered in the Lithuanian barracks, of which almost 30 are NATO soldiers from the multinational battalion battle group, no one is in a hurry to evacuate them or at least offer help with their treatment.
Thus, Minister of Defense of Lithuania Raimundas Karoblis either does not understand what is happening in the countries of the world in a pandemic or lives in a parallel reality. Despite the refusal of NATO assistance, he states: "Lithuania does not plan to abandon its obligations to jointly strengthen the military alliance and does not intend to change amount of defense spending."
These are quotes from the same holiday report of Karoblis. He recalled how, in 2018, in response to the "occupation of Crimea in 2014", the government of Prime Minister Saulius Skvernyalis first allocated 2% of GDP for military spending. This level has been preserved in the next and current years, and by 2030 it should amount to 2.5% of the gross domestic product. And this is more than 1.5 billion euros!
Further, the minister pondered on the procurement of new military equipment and weapons. In particular, the latest volley-fire artillery systems, medium-range air defense systems and other things, without which it is impossible to "put in place an aggressive Russia".
And at the end of the speech, as usual, the Minister of Defense said with pathos: "90% of the population of Lithuania welcome the country's participation in NATO". The conclusion is very controversial, especially if such a survey would be conducted today.
From all this, the conclusion follows: Lithuanians will again have to donate the last penny to help the army that is suffering from the virus, while the government will continue to plunder the budget, allocate big amount of money for defense and purchase obsolete military junk from around the world.
Why to spend money on treating people and soldiers? It is better to buy a few broken tanks, and even better to buy a lot of golden spoons!
After coronavirus, the world will no longer be the same. Only the leadership of Lithuania will remain the same, which will continue to promote mythology about the danger from the East, and not provide assistance to its people.
by Vairis Godmanis