European Interest

Lithuania’s FM Landsbergis: Don’t fear the Kremlin’s threats!

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania

At the invitation of his Romanian counterpart, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis participated in the annual meeting of Romanian diplomacy (RADR 2023) themed “A firm foreign policy of Romania: managing challenges and maximising opportunities” and held bilateral consultations.

On 29 August, in Bucharest, Minister Landsbergis met with the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luminița-Teodora Odobescu.

The bilateral consultations provided an opportunity to review the state of relations between Romania and the Republic of Lithuania. The excellent level of relations, the consistency of the high-level political dialogue and the developments in economic and sectorial cooperation were commended.

In the field of European affairs, discussions focused on Romania’s accession to the Schengen area, the EU enlargement process and the revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework. In this context, Minister Landsbergis reiterated Lithuania’s strong support for Romania’s accession to Schengen.

The two ministers discussed countering the effects of Russia’s war on Ukraine, focusing on support measures and actions to deter, sanction and hold Russia internationally accountable.

“Together with Romania and other countries, we need to urge our partners not to fear the Kremlin’s threats and to bravely defend our values and Ukraine’s path to victory. The fear of escalation leads to delayed military support for Ukraine, so we all have to break a vicious circle of late reaction,” Lithuania’s Foreign Minister said at the meeting.

During the exchange of views on the security situation on NATO’s Eastern Flank, the interest of both sides in strengthening the defence and deterrence posture in line with the decisions of the NATO Summit in Vilnius was evident.

The Romanian minister outlined the risks associated with Russia’s aggressive behaviour, both for the Black Sea region and for vulnerable partners, in particular Moldova.

“Together with Romania and other like-minded countries, we need to join our efforts and seize the strategic opportunity to accelerate Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration, as well as the opening of accession negotiations between the European Union and Moldova and the Western Balkans,” the head of Lithuania said.

Landsbergis thanked Romania for its support to Ukraine. At the same time, the Foreign Minister noted that Lithuania and other Baltic states were ready to help Ukraine export its agricultural products. “We are ready to offer an additional Ukrainian grain transportation route – the Baltic Way – to global markets through Klaipėda and other Baltic seaports,” he said.

At the meeting, the  Foreign Ministers also discussed the Three Seas Initiative Summit (3SI) to be held on 6-7 September.

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