Linas Linkevičius underlined the significance of a consistent policy of EU sanctions
On 29 May, while on his visit to France, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius participated in the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) Annual Council Meeting with his speech Russia/Ukraine: Time to move beyond sanctions.
In his intervention, Linas Linkevičius emphasised that sanctions on Russia over its aggression in Ukraine must be continued as long as the aggression persists and the Minsk Agreements are not implemented. “The effectiveness of the sanctions is beyond doubt. The Kremlin expands the geography of its damaging actions, and if it were not for the sanctions, the Russian-drawn frontline would be even closer to our borders. And still, the sanctions are by no means the only measure to define relations between Europe and Russia. We must support our Eastern Partners, strengthen our resistance, support Russian civil society, and cooperate in pursuing European interests.”
The Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs also noted a necessity to consolidate EU support for reforms being carried out in the associated Eastern Partnership countries. Lithuania seeks to ensure backing to a European long-term support plan for Ukraine which would ensure a certain pace and sustainability of reforms there.
Linas Linkevičius expressed gratitude to French parliamentarians for their country’s input into the security of the Baltic Sea region. The French Air Force was on NATO air policing missions in the Baltics five times already, four of which were in Lithuania. At the beginning of this year, almost 300 French troops joined the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion in Lithuania, which means they will also contribute to the Alliance’s efforts to enhance security in the region.
During his visit to Paris, as a member of the delegation headed by Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of the Republic of Lithuania, Minister Linkevičius will take part in the Ministerial Council Meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) where a final decision on Lithuanian membership of the Organisation will be taken by signing an Accession Agreement.