President Dalia Grybauskaitė has underlined that this is a very important achievement for Lithuania, signifying that the country's contribution to the North Atlantic Alliance is highly appreciated.
"Energy independence is the overriding priority on Lithuania's foreign policy agenda. Today, by decision of all 28 NATO member countries, the Energy Security Center in Lithuania has become a NATO center of excellence. This decision demonstrates Lithuania's success in effectively ensuring its interests and even more strengthens its leading position in NATO and international arena in energy security matters," Grybauskaitė said in a press release circulated by the President's Office.
Minister of National Defense Rasa Juknevičienė said the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence will focus mainly on officer training and exercises to ensure that energy security points are integrated into the daily defense planning process.
"The establishment and accreditation of the NATO Energy Security Centre is a huge appreciation of Lithuania’s efforts in the NATO energy security area, making Lithuania a leader in the area of energy security not only in the EU but also in NATO. I am very happy to see that the idea which was conceived in 2008 has now come to fruition," Juknevičienė said.
In her words, activities of the NATO Energy Security Centre in Vilnius will be tailored to meet the realistic needs of the allied capabilities: enhancement of energy efficiency in the deployment locations, identification of alternative energy sources in missions and operations, application of advanced technologies, etc.
The NATO center is based at the Lithuanian War Academy in Vilnius, with the international personnel consisting of countries involved in the center's operations.