VILNIUS, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Enhancing NATO's capacity to deter and respond to threats in the Baltic States region is crucial, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said on Tuesday after meeting with visiting U.S. Senator Richard Durbin.

"The U.S. troops and military equipment deployed in our region are an important and reliable deterrence ensuring the security of Lithuania and the entire alliance," the president was quoted as saying in a press release issued by her office on Tuesday.

The two discussed issues of regional and transatlantic security, defense cooperation between Lithuania and the United Stated and strengthening transatlantic relations during the meeting.

The U.S. is firm on its engagement with the Baltic States, news agency Elta reported Durbin as saying.

An American military unit and equipment are already stationed in Lithuania.

Durbin, a democrat from Illinois, serves as the Democratic Whip, the second highest ranking position among the Senate Democrats. His mother was born in Lithuania.