The Military Committee, which is the Alliance's highest military institution, gave its support to the accreditation last Friday. Approval from the North Atlantic Council, which includes civil representatives of all member-states, is expected shortly.
"On Friday, the NATO Military Committee gave its approval to Lithuania's Energy Security Center becoming a centre of excellence with NATO accreditation. There is merely one formal step left until full accreditation – the decision is yet to be approved by the North Atlantic Council – and we will have our first military international organization in Lithuania," senior foreign policy adviser Jovita Neliupšienė told BNS.
In her words, this recognizes Lithuania's expertise in energy security, also offering an opportunity for Lithuania to boost its influence in the Alliance.
"The president first raised the idea of establishing the center during the 2009 meeting with NATO secretary general, the issue was later raised as a priority matter at the NATO summit in Chicago. We now have a result. The center will assist all NATO countries in solving energy security and efficient energy consumption matters," said the presidential aide.
Founded in 2010, the center is planned to become an official NATO center to provide expert advise on development of NATO capacities in energy security, analyze energy supplies and infrastructure protection, and provide advise on increasing energy efficiency. The center would also offer exercise and training.
The NATO center will be based at the Lithuanian War Academy in Vilnius, with the international personnel consisting of countries involved in the center's operations.