Lithuania promotes intensified cooperation between NATO and Ukraine in combating hybrid threats
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius together with the NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Tacan Ildem and the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze welcomed the participants of the seminar “Strategic Communications cooperation in response to hybrid threats” in Vilnius.
The seminar is co-organised by Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry and the Ukrainian Government Office for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration. It is Lithuania’s contribution to the promotion of the intensified NATO-Ukraine cooperation in combating hybrid threats, particularly in countering disinformation and propaganda.
“We are in the epicentre of a hybrid war that is waged against our democratic values and the entire transatlantic community. Therefore, we must remain united,” the head of Lithuania’s diplomacy noted in his welcome speech.
Linkevičius stressed that the annexation of Crimea by Russia more than four years ago, the continuing aggression in eastern Ukraine, and the latest developments in the United Kingdom once again demonstrated the importance of the role of hybrid and information threats in today’s world.
According to Linkevičius, NATO must assess the painful experience of Ukraine and strengthen the alliance’s resilience in the fight against hybrid and information threats, exchange practical experiences in countering disinformation, and create coalitions of countries, organizations and experts to understand and respond effectively to aggressive behaviour by third countries directed against our values. On the other hand, in line with NATO’s strategy on hybrid warfare, the alliance is interested in having partners who are resilient to hybrid attacks.
At the 2016 Warsaw Summit, the NATO and Ukraine decided to launch a dialogue on contemporary military and emerging challenges, and to create a platform for today’s event, which brings together more than 100 experts on hybrid threats and strategic communication from institutions in various countries, think tanks, and non-governmental organizations.
Today’s seminar aims to deepen the understanding of hybrid practices in the field of strategic communication, to exchange the existing and changing national and international (NATO, EU) methods of combatting disinformation and propaganda, as well as to provide recommendations for further work, which may be applied to the NATO-Ukraine hybrid platforms and bilateral cooperation programmes.