Analysing international policy processes and Lithuania’s role in them
Events Apr 24, 2024

I. Šimonytė presents her national security and foreign policy vision

Photo source: D. Kudriavcec/Fotodiena

On April 23, Prime Minister and candidate for President of the Republic of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė visited the Eastern Europe Studies Centre. She presented her most important theses regarding foreign policy and national security.

The victory of Ukraine, legal responsibility for war criminals, and compensation for damages caused by them were named as some of the key goals of Lithuania’s foreign and security policy. Speaking about the recently adopted, but prolonged process in the US Congress regarding the support package for Ukraine, the Prime Minister emphasized that this event made Europe realize the consequences of not having its own military industry. It was also highlighted that foreign and security policies have become inseparable, since any thinking about foreign policy at the moment primarily reflects efforts to strengthen our security.

Speaking about Lithuania’s strategic partners, Šimonytė said that Lithuania’s allies are not only members of the main alliances (NATO, EU), but also like-minded states on the other side of the globe – for example, Japan and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region. On the other hand, it is also important that autocrats (Russia, Iran, China, North Korea) form alliances with their own agendas.

While discussing the issue of EU enlargement, the candidate emphasized that the aspiration to enlarge the EU to countries that have the same perception as Lithuania has been its interest for a long time and there is nothing new about it. The path to the EU for Ukraine, Moldova (as well as the Western Balkans) must be merit-based, and there is no need to hurry with reforms within the EU, as they do not necessarily guarantee optimal functioning within the framework of the community. Also, after the accession of Ukraine, in the face of reforms, issues of budget and cohesion will not be more relevant, but issues of foreign policy. The attitude of the Allies towards Ukraine’s membership is also seen as having changed significantly, and discussions on this issue can be considered a change in the concept of the EU’s geostrategic interest.

In the light of Lithuania’s policy regarding China and the opening of the representative office of Taiwan in Vilnius, Šimonytė emphasized that she sees a positive balance between costs and benefits, and thanks to this situation, Lithuanian business has acquired very clean supply chains with other countries in the region.

Photos by D. Kudriavcec/Fotodiena