"For centuries, the Lithuanian Vytis and the Polish eagle has been decorating the shields of our soldiers, we should continue to hold them firmly as we respond to the new threats of the 21st century," the minister said in a press release.
In his words, the service of the Polish contingent in Lithuania, intensive and successful military cooperation in the region proves "that freedom can only be guaranteed by Lithuania and Poland sticking together."
Ažubalis presented the Polish airmen with a collection of Lithuanian post stamps with the painting Grunwald Battle by Polish painter Jan Matejko.
Serving in the NATO air-policing mission in Lithuania for the fourth time, the Polish contingent is patrolling the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian skies with four Mig-29 jets. Czech troops will take over the mission on 1 September.
Earlier this year, NATO decided to extend the air-policing mission in the Baltic states without a deadline, as the three countries do not have the capacities for ensuring safety of their air-space.