Vilnius NATO defence ministers meeting gets underway

Spaudos centras (© Andrius Vaitkevičius |

Thousands of delegates from over fifty countries begin a two-day NATO gab fest Thursday morning.

Lithuanian Minister of Defence Juozas Olekas and his twenty-five NATO counterparts have invited envoys from countries such as Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Russia, as well as mandarins from clubs such as the EU and UN to join discussions on a wide swathe of global security topics.

Lithuanian officials say its the biggest meeting of its kind ever held in capital Vilnius.

The meet is a warm-up for an April NATO summit to be held in Bucharest, Romania.

Hundreds of police will be out on the streets ensuring the delegates' security, and reinforcements have been brought in from other cities.

Expect to see lots of helicopters flying overhead, snipers on rooftops, and police-escorted cavalcades with sirens blaring.

Authorities have warned drivers and commuters to expect snarled traffic in central Vilnius because many roads will be closed or restricted, especially when delegations are being shuttled about.

Alfa reminds readers that getting to the Vilnius airport might prove tricky on Thursday and Friday, so if you have a flight be sure to leave yourself ample time.

If you missed our earlier detailed air travel and street closure advisory, please click here.

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