Europe

AP Interview: Lithuania: Trump right on Europe defense costs

  • Lithuanian soldiers, takes part in a NATO military exercise, 'Iron Sword,' at the Rukla military base some 130 km (80 miles) west of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Lithuanian foreign and defense ministers said they believed that some of Donald Trump’s language during the campaign shouldn’t be taken too seriously and that they are confident that he will continue a decades-long American tradition of standing by allies in Europe and the world. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

    Lithuanian soldiers, takes part in a NATO military exercise, 'Iron Sword,' at the Rukla military base some 130 km (80 miles) west of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Lithuanian foreign and defense ministers said they believed that some of Donald Trump’s language during the campaign shouldn’t be taken too seriously and that they are confident that he will continue a decades-long American tradition of standing by allies in Europe and the world. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius speaks to The Associated Press in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vilnius, Lithuania, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Lithuanian foreign and defense ministers said they believed that some of Donald Trump’s language during the campaign shouldn’t be taken too seriously and that they are confident that he will continue a decades-long American tradition of standing by allies in Europe and the world. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

    Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius speaks to The Associated Press in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vilnius, Lithuania, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Lithuanian foreign and defense ministers said they believed that some of Donald Trump’s language during the campaign shouldn’t be taken too seriously and that they are confident that he will continue a decades-long American tradition of standing by allies in Europe and the world. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Lithuanian soldiers, takes part in a NATO military exercise, 'Iron Sword,' at the Rukla military base some 130 km (80 miles) west of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Lithuanian foreign and defense ministers said they believed that some of Donald Trump’s language during the campaign shouldn’t be taken too seriously and that they are confident that he will continue a decades-long American tradition of standing by allies in Europe and the world. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

    Lithuanian soldiers, takes part in a NATO military exercise, 'Iron Sword,' at the Rukla military base some 130 km (80 miles) west of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Lithuanian foreign and defense ministers said they believed that some of Donald Trump’s language during the campaign shouldn’t be taken too seriously and that they are confident that he will continue a decades-long American tradition of standing by allies in Europe and the world. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)  (The Associated Press)

Two senior Lithuanian officials say that President-elect Donald Trump is actually right that Europeans must increase military spending.

Trump stunned Washington's allies during the U.S. election campaign by suggesting that U.S. military guarantees to NATO members could depend on whether they are paying enough on defense.

In separate interviews with The Associated Press this week, Lithuania's foreign and defense ministers say they believe that some of Trump's language during the campaign shouldn't be taken too seriously.

Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius hopes "the U.S. will remain a key player in the world and also a leader of NATO."

Defense Minister Juozas Olekas said Trump is right that the U.S. shouldn't have to bear most of the cost of defending the Western alliance.