"We know that you feel the need to be or have the ally with you visibly present in the region. We are here because we care, your security is our security, if you feel insecure, it's not good. We want you to feel secure. We will be with you - don’t worry, don’t be afraid. And I know that if something similar happen in the South, Lithuania will be with us," he said after meeting with Lithuania's Defense Minister Rasa Juknevičienė.
Missions in the Baltic skies have already been performed by aviators from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey, and the United States.
Di Paola restated that Italy cared about joining the efforts to ensure Lithuania's security. In his words, one of the proof is Italy's participation in the training of NATO partners Steadfast Jazz 2013 to be held in Lithuania next year.
In Juknevičienė's words, the next year's exercise Steadfast Jazz 2013 carries extensive importance for Lithuania, all of the Baltic region and Poland, which is the leading country in the war games.
"They will be held for the first time in the region under NATO's Article 5. This means that NATO partners will learn and train specific skills to defend the region by a specific scenario," the Lithuanian minister said.
In the Italian official's words, Italy supports the Lithuanian initiative in energy security and will delegate an expert to the Energy Security Center.
"We are very pleased with the initiative of Lithuania on the energy security and for the center of excellence. That's why Italy is becoming one of the sponsoring nations. We asked of and we received the position of doctrines and concept development which is the main division of this new center," Di Paola told journalists in comment of the NATO Energy Security Center of Excellence founded in Vilnius.
In his words, Italy is aware of Lithuania's efforts to develop relations with Russia. Nevertheless, Di Paola said it was just as important to have Allies in case something happens.
The Lithuanian defense minister, Juknevičienė, said Lithuania and Italy shared their stance towards missile defense.
"We also discussed the missile defense, which is important for us, as a territory that will have very important and key installations of NATO's missile defense above it, and the ongoing development of Russian capacities in the neighborhood, and the cooperation negotiations underway between NATO and the Russian Federation. I think we have no differences, our attitude towards the processes is entirely similar," Juknevičienė told journalists.
This was Di Paola's third visit to Lithuania: he was first here in October 2006 as Italy's chief of defense and in April 2009 as chairman of the NATO Military Committee.
The Lithuanian Defense Ministry said defense cooperation with Italy intensified in the context of NATO exercises and bilateral cooperation.