Visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Lithuania

On January 24, in Easter Europe Studies Centre, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius together with community of experts, has reviewed the most important challenges in international politics in year 2020 and overviewed current events in world politics.

Minister Linkevičius stressed importance of Russian Forum that is happening in Lithuania on annual basis. This forum serves as a important platform to discuss future of Russia and challenges ahead. Furthermore, this forum is a clear counterstatement to allegations of Russophobia. Besides it, this year Vilnius will host Ukranian reforms conference, commemoration of Helsinki Accords. However, 2020 will also bring an array of challenges which are extremely important not only for Lithuania but also for allies and partners. Departure of  United Kingdom from European Union will have crucial importance for future of the EU and significant consequences in bilateral relations between UK and Lithuania. Key issue is future of legal status of Lithuanian and European citizens in United Kingdom, as immigration policies might change in more strict manner. However, Lithuania has expressed clear wish that UK should remain active in European affairs (especially in Baltic region, not to forget significant contingent of British troops on NATO missions).

Minister underlined importance of Lithuanian – Belarus relations in context of Astravyets nuclear power plant. As construction of plant is near finished, it is crucial to gain support from partners such as EU and US to demand Belarussian side of responsible operation of plant to minimize any risks related to operations of Astravyets nuclear power plant.

Beginning of January saw an aggressive propaganda campaign from Kremlin sponsored media aimed at Baltic countries and Poland in order to justify Soviet actions during beginning of Second World War and Ribbentrop – Molotov pact. Revisionist historical discourse by Russian media is centered around accusations of perpetrating Holocaust by Baltic states governments. This false narrative is aimed on minimizing blame and crimes of Soviet Union. This move is reminder that Lithuania and other EU states have never sought to worsen relations, while Russia has done the exact contrary.

With extremely difficult and fragile peace in Middle East, Minister Linkevičius stated that Lithuania together with other European Union states are stressing importance of restraint by both Iran and United States. Lithuania stands by EU and approves idea that dispute mechanisms about Iran Nuclear Deal should not collapse but rather to salvage it by diplomatic means to ensure stability and peace in region.

Moreover, during meeting, Minister Linkevičius touched importance question of Chinese investments and bilateral relations between China and Lithuania, as it is possible to notice increase in Chinese political and economic power projections in European continent.