Lithuania President Dalia Grybauskaite
President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite speaks during a news conference in Riga, Feb. 9, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite wants President Donald Trump’s administration to boost American air defense in the Baltics amid growing aggression by Russia, according to Agence France-Presse. Grybauskaite said steps taken by NATO last year to strengthen its eastern side "are no longer sufficient."

"Without the support of the U.S. air defense systems, we will not have full protection," Grybauskaite told AFP Saturday. "Now we are trying to purchase some of the measures ourselves but direct U.S. participation will be necessary."

In recent months, Trump’s close ties with Russia and his questions about NATO’s relevance have triggered concerns in Europe. Last month, he called the 28-nation military alliance “obsolete” and demanded that its members increase their contribution to the alliance.

“I took such heat when I said NATO was obsolete,” Trump said. “It’s obsolete because it wasn’t taking care of terror. I took a lot of heat for two days. And then they started saying, ‘Trump is right.’”

According to Grybauskaite, the U.S. has the "full right" to push its European allies to increase their defense spending to two percent of the gross domestic product.

"We see that Warsaw agreements are no longer sufficient. We need a faster decision-making process," Grybauskaite reportedly said.

Last month, NATO sent additional troops to the Baltic states and Poland, and it has also been trying to fortify its southeastern flank around the Black Sea. In addition, it has sought to enhance intelligence gathering to counter Russia’s growing aggression in the region.

However, Grybauskaite said more should be done to tackle Russia’s military activities and called for quicker decision-making within the alliance, AFP reported.

Tensions between Russia and NATO have been high since Moscow annexed Crimea in March 2014 and backed separatist rebels within Ukraine. The alliance’s military buildup has focused on Poland and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — all countries that have raised concerns over Russia's growing political and military assertion in the region. However, Moscow has denied the allegations of having any territorial ambitions.

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