The UK and Lithuania vow to continue to work together in condemnation of Russia's illegal invasion and in support of Ukraine (Picture: MOD).
UK

UK signs deal with Lithuania to bolster defence co-operation

The governments of the UK and Lithuania have signed a Joint Declaration in London on 100 years of bilateral relations.

The UK and Lithuania vow to continue to work together in condemnation of Russia's illegal invasion and in support of Ukraine (Picture: MOD).

The UK and Lithuania will look to build on bilateral defence and trade ties after signing a joint deal, the Foreign Office has announced.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and her Lithuanian counterpart Gabrielius Landsbergis agreed to greater security and economic cooperation between their countries – in the face of growing aggression from "malign regimes".

Their signing of a Joint Declaration marks 100 years of bilateral relations between the two nations and helps further the UK's global network of liberty.

Lithuania shares a border with Belarus, a country whose president, Alexander Lukashenko, has forged a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The declaration will look to build on the current defence co-operation the countries share as NATO allies and will increase resistance to threats, including from Russia and China.

The UK's Foreign Secretary highlighted Lithuania in a landmark speech at London's Mansion House last month as a country that China had tried to bully economically.

Ms Truss, who has praised Lithuania for standing up to this coercion, said: "The UK and Lithuania are two countries which believe in freedom and sovereignty, and who stand up to authoritarian regimes in Europe and across the world.

"We stand together with Ukraine in the face of Russia's illegal, barbaric war.

"I have immense admiration and respect for Lithuania and I am delighted that today we are deepening our defence and security relationship, and forging greater opportunities for trade and investment through this Joint Declaration", she added.

Watch: Finland and Sweden wanting to join NATO "strategic defeat" for Russia, former NATO Deputy Secretary-General says.

The UK has welcomed Lithuania's decision to cut off all Russian oil and gas in a bid to drain the Kremlin's war machine of funding.

The declaration signed will also seek to build closer trade opportunities, counter organised crime, tackle climate change and promote people-to-people links between the UK and Lithuania, the Foreign Office said.