In Finland, Minister Linkevičius discusses regional security and EU future
On 23 October, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini in Helsinki. The two Ministers discussed relations between Lithuania and Finland, the Baltic Sea region’s security situation, issues related to transatlantic cooperation, the Eastern Partnership, situations in Russia and Ukraine.
“Finland is our close neighbouring country in the region and a reliable partner of Lithuania. We are enjoying our dynamic and positive relationship, and we are closely cooperating in regional formats, such as the Nordic Baltic Eight (NB 8), addressing challenges to regional security, the Eastern Partnership initiative, and other key issues. We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Finland on the centenary of its independence, which will be celebrated on 6 December,” said Linkevičius.
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister emphasized the need to further step up regional cooperation in the area of security, in preventing hybrid and cyber threats, countering propaganda, boosting the EU’s internal resilience, strengthening the partnership between NATO and the EU, and developing transatlantic cooperation. Linkevičius noted that the Centre of Excellence for countering hybrid threats, which was established in Helsinki, would set a good example of cooperation between the EU and NATO. Lithuania is among the founders of the centre.
Linkevičius also met with the Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport of Finland Sampo Terho. The Ministers discussed the future of Europe, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, and agreed that the EU needed unity, especially in finding lasting solutions.
Minister Linkevičius also stressed the need to strengthen the EU’s support for Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, and to create a long-term strategy for relations with these countries. Lithuania seeks backing from Western partners for providing long-term financial support for Ukraine. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister also noted that the international community must adhere to a firm and one position on Russia, sanctions against Russia should be continued until full implementation of the Minsk agreements.