Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis discussed key items on the international agenda and regional cooperation with the Foreign Ministers of the Baltic states and the United Kingdom
On 11 October, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis attended a meeting of the Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, and British Foreign Ministers in London, the United Kingdom, which focused on relations with Russia and China, the Euro-Atlantic security, climate change policy, cybersecurity, and economic cooperation.
When discussing security, Ministers stressed that NATO remained the main guarantor of security in the Euro-Atlantic area and agreed to continue to cooperate in strengthening the Alliance in order to adapt to new threats. The United Kingdom’s contribution to the strengthening of security of the Baltic states was also noted. “At a time when the geopolitical situation in the world is complex and constantly changing and we are facing new threats, one of the most important challenges is to maintain our transatlantic unity. History has taught us that the world is much safer, when Europe and the US are working together,” said Landsbergis.
“A hybrid attack orchestrated by Lukashenko's regime against Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, using illegal migration as a political weapon, must receive a strong international response,” said the Minister. The participants of the meeting urged Belarus to immediately put an end to these malicious actions. The Foreign Ministers expressed their concerns over the systematic violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Belarus and agreed to continue working together to exert pressure on the regime with the aim of having new free and democratic elections held, all political prisoners released, and those responsible for the repression punished.
The Foreign Ministers of the Baltic states and the United Kingdom agreed to work closely together within multilateral fora to ensure that Russia and China comply with international obligations also to respect human rights. “Russia remains the main threat to our region. It is difficult to talk about any changes in our relations with Russia, as the country still violates its commitments, continues the annexation of Crimea and its aggressive policy in eastern Ukraine, as well as disinformation and cyber-attacks,” said Lithuania's Foriegn Minister.
“At the same time, China's economic and diplomatic pressure on Lithuania for its efforts to foster closer economic ties with Taiwan is unacceptable. The diversification of markets and the strengthening of economic cooperation with the countries of the Indo-Pacific region are among our priorities”, said Landsbergis. In addition, the Foreign Ministers stressed the need for a principled, shared values-based policy in response to the systemic challenges posed by China.
The Foreign Ministers reiterated their strong commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as affirmed their support for Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration and reform process.
Landsbergis also emphasized the importance of a smooth implementation of agreements between the European Union and the UK.
The interlocutors agreed to develop closer economic ties between the UK and the entire Baltic region to promote trade and investment, and identified such sectors as cyber and digital economy, life sciences, research, high-tech, defence, energy and infrastructure.
The Foreign Ministers of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and the UK also issued a joint communique, announcing their intention to continue holding regular meetings to discuss key items on the international agenda and regional cooperation.
Photos: The UK's FCDO