Minister Joly concludes participation at NATO Summit and Embassy opening in Lithuania

News release

July 11, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today concluded a productive visit to Vilnius, Lithuania alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the 2023 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. 

At the summit, Minister Joly underscored Canada’s steadfast support for NATO and Euro-Atlantic security as well as the country’s commitment to maintaining and strengthening the transatlantic bond and its determination to uphold the rules-based system.

Minister Joly met with her counterparts to agree on enhanced support for countries that are at risk of Russian aggression and malign influence. Canada is committed to continue working closely with NATO Allies, EU, and G7 partners, as well as the broader international community to respond to Russia’s ongoing illegal and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine.

Minister Joly joined Allies in welcoming Türkiye's commitment to ratify Sweden’s Accession Protocols as soon as possible. Sweden has long been a close friend and key partner of NATO, and its future NATO membership will strengthen the Alliance and its collective defence.

Minister Joly also took this opportunity to open the new Canadian embassy in Lithuania, and announce the appointment of Jeanette Sautner as Canada’s first resident ambassador in Vilnius. An increased diplomatic presence in Eastern Europe will further enhance Canada’s diplomatic engagement in the region and support its efforts to counter Russia’s destabilizing activities against its neighbours. Canada will also significantly enhance Operation REASSURANCE, its contribution to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe. With a greater diplomatic and military footprint in the region, Canada will be able to better respond to evolving security threats, enhance political and economic cooperation to support European Allies, and further counter the impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


“We meet in Vilnius at a pivotal moment for the NATO Alliance and our collective security. Canada is committed to working with our NATO allies and partners to address an increasingly complex security environment.  Canada will continue to be there for Ukrainians as they fight for not only their freedom, but ours as well, with enduring security support now and through their victory. We will also continue our strong support for Sweden’s accession to NATO and call on remaining Allies to conclude Sweden’s accession process as soon possible.”

- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • Canada was a founding member of NATO in 1949.

  • Today, NATO consists of 31 member states united in their commitment to transatlantic security and defence.

  • NATO is a major contributor to international peace and security in the Euro-Atlantic community and is a cornerstone of Canadian security and defence policy.

  • Approximately 1,200 Canadian Armed Forces members are deployed on Operation REASSURANCE, making it Canada’s largest current international military operation.

Associated links


Emily Williams
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs  

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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