U.S. and Lithuania extend agreement to prevent illegal transfer of weapons

The United States and Lithuania have signed a protocol to strengthen cooperation between the two countries concerning the prevention of  illegal transfer and trafficking in biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and related materials.

The signing, performed by Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs Vygaudas Ušackas and U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania Anne E. Derse, took place at Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The newly signed protocol amends and extends the term of the Agreement between the governments of Lithuania and the United States of America Concerning Cooperation in the Area of the Prevention of Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the Promotion of Defense and Military Relations. The terms of the Agreement are now extended for seven additional years until 2017.

The agreement also provides for a stronger foundation for cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism while providing protection to Lithuanian citizens and to security within the region and worldwide.

The original 2003 agreement regulates the provision of the voluntary assistance by the United States with a purpose of assisting in preventing the illegal transfer and trafficking in biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and related materials. Assistance of more than 11 million Litas was provided to Lithuania by the United States from 2003 to 2009.

The United States' assistance and equipment allowed for the installation of radiation detection systems at Vilnius International Airport and land border crossing points as well as a permanent surveillance system at the Maišiagala Radioactive Waste Repository and physical security upgrades made at five Lithuanian oncology clinics that employ radioactive materials.