Linas Linkevičius: we need to respond to the actions of Russia that weaken European security
On 4 April, at NATO Foreign Ministers meeting in Washington, Minister Linas Linkevičius called for response to the actions of Russia in the Black Sea region and in the area of arms control that are weakening European security.
“Military aggression in the East Ukraine, annexation and militarisation of Crimea, occupation of part of Georgia territory, violation of navigation freedom in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov are fragments of the Russian strategy to disintegrate the architecture of European security. We must pay more attention to security in the Black Sea region and support the countries suffering from Russian aggression,” Linas Linkevičius said.
The meeting also focused on the violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Last year NATO declared that Russia developed and deployed the rocket system 9M729 and thus violated the INF Treaty. The USA and other allies have been calling on Russia to take necessary actions to save the Treaty for six years, however, to date, Moscow has failed to provide any credible answers to concerns expressed by NATO states.
“The Treaty violation is a strategic challenge and NATO shall employ all necessary measures to ensure collective defence and deterrence credibility. Currently Russia is not cooperating. Dialogue alone is clearly not an option as Russia continues its aggressive politics that goes beyond Ukraine and Georgia to Syria, Venezuela and the Balkans. International law violations must have clear consequences and come to a price,” Linas Linkevičius noted.
During the meeting the ministers adopted a package of measures intended for ensuring security in the Black Sea region. It involves additional allied actions and strengthening of appropriate capacities as well as measures for stronger support for Georgia and Ukraine.
The annual NATO ministerial meeting was held on 3-4 April in Washington where the North Atlantic Treaty was signed 70 year ago.
The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on 17 April, received a response to its note of 12 April over safety and security of the staff of the Lithuanian diplomatic representation and their family members in Moscow from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
On 3 April in Washington, the USA, on the margins of the NATO's 70th anniversary events, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius met with Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivana Klympush-Cincadze and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia David Zalkaliani.
On 3 April Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius participated in the NATO's 70th anniversary events held in Washington, the USA.
Lithuania strongly supports Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. We condemn the ongoing military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine that flagrantly violates international law, the Charter of the United Nations, the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act, and bilateral agreements between Ukraine and Russia. We will continue to support Ukraine and coherently implement the policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea five years ago.
We appreciate the efforts the United States have undertaken to engage Russia with a view to preserving the INF treaty.
On 24 January, Lithuania‘s Permanent Delegation to NATO and UK‘s Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) for Defence and Security Studies held a panel discussion at NATO HQ on the topic of “Building Societal Resilience against Hybrid Threats“, with renowned experts such as Elisabeth Braw, RUSI Associate Fellow, Dr Antonio Missiroli, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, Eitvydas Bajarūnas, Lithuania‘s Ambassador-at-Large for Hybrid Threats, Viktoras Daukšas, Director of Debunk.eu initiative, and Giedrius Sakalauskas, Head of “Lithuanian Elves”. The event aimed to shed light on the issue of societal resilience, which carries an enormous untapped deterrent potential.