On September 18 Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupšys took part in a NATO Military Committee (MC) session held via video teleconference. It was the second time in history that NATO Chiefs of Defence relied on IT solutions to convene and address key Alliance issues via a classified connection, as a result of the COVID_19 pandemic and decision of the MC leadership.
The NATO Military Committee discussed with the political and military leadership of the Alliance NATO missions and operations, deterrence and defence of the Euro-Atlantic area, and reviewed military capabilities and resources of Russia.
Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart William Peach presiding the session expressed regrets that the planned venue of the meeting in Roma, Italy, had to be cancelled and thanked the Italian side for the effort and resources they had paid to prepare responsibly for the meeting.
NATO MC Chairman also thanked the Alliance military medical personnel for maintaining vigilance and overseeing health of allied forces, and intensely watching the situation in operational areas where NATO forces are present. Sir Stuart William Peach stressed that it was still a complex relation when addressing NATO and Russia.
"There has been a pattern of destabilising behaviour from Russia, including aggressive actions against their neighbours, election interference, and cyber-attacks. Russian propaganda outlets have falsely accused NATO of creating and spreading COVID-19. We have seen that Russia has now made hypersonic weapons operational. They are developing new cruise missiles as well as new sea-based systems. These systems are clearly a concern for this committee," he said in the final press statement after the session.
The Military Committee (MC) is NATO's highest structure of military command subordinate to the North Atlantic Council, Defence Planning Committee and Nuclear Planning Group. It takes strategic-level military decisions and forms military advice to the North Atlantic Council, the political decision-making body.
At the highest level the MC is comprised of NATO countries' Chiefs of Defence while daily activities are carried out by their military representatives. Chiefs of Defence sessions normally take place three times per year, two in Brussels and one - in one of the NATO member states on a rotational basis. The Chiefs of Defence agree on and provide military advice to the North Atlantic Council as a result of their conferences.
Organisers information from the MC conference (in English):
Spokesperson for the Chief of Defence Maj Tomas Balkus
00370 5 278 5091, 00370 686 28 035, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credits: NATO