Linas Linkevičius: US’s continued focus on the security of our region
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius, had a meeting with the United States Deputy Secretary of State, John J. Sullivan; Deputy National Security Adviser to the US President, Major General Ricky L. Waddell; and Senior Director for NATO/Europe, National Security Council, Richard J. Hooker, in Washington D.C. on 21 September 2017.
“I have been reassured of the continued focus of the US on the security of Lithuania and our region as a whole, and I have heard clear understanding of threats to the Baltic region and the transatlantic community,” Linas Linkevičius said after the meeting.
Mr Minister thanked the US for deploying its military personnel and equipment, as well as additional fighter-jets in Lithuania during the Russia-Belarus military exercises “Zapad“.
“The alleged transparency of the exercises while only selective and limited access was given to a small part of the exercises continues to cause reasonable concern of the international community over an offensive nature of the exercises. Even though an active phase of “Zapad” has already finished, in a broad sense, the exercises have been going on since 2008, which is manifested in both non-transparent and markedly increased military activity and aggressive military actions. We must continue with our resolute and consistent policy of sending a message that any aggression or violation of the sovereignty of neighbouring countries will bear a high price,” the Lithuanian Foreign Minister said.
The US officials thanked Lithuania for its firm and principled position on sanctioning Russia for its aggressive policy and for Lithuania’s consistent support to Ukraine; they also agreed that bilateral and multilateral measures for strengthening Europe’s security and world peace had to stay in place.
During the meeting between Strobe Talbott, President of the Brookings Institution, and the Lithuanian Foreign Minister, global challenges to security and democratic norms and threats to the international order posed by aggressive Russian politics were discussed.
Mr Minister also participated in the annual transatlantic conference held by the Center for European Policy Analysis where he spoke on the future of transatlantic relations and a security situation in the region. He touched upon the impact of US-Russia relations on the security of our region and noted that it was of utmost importance to name Russian actions as keeping silent undermined the unity of democratic states and encouraged aggressors to proceed.
“Trampling upon moral and human rights issues and silence about disregarding them would inevitably result in a real security crisis in our region and huge economic losses of Western countries,” Mr Minister said.
Minister Linkevičius also visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum and lit a candle honouring the memory of Lithuanian Jews, victims of the Holocaust.
“We face an unprecedented attempt to impact EU integration and at the same time to give a blow to the West seeking to undermine trust in democracy, human rights, solidarity, and the rule of law. Information campaigns are conducted and social networks are used to that end. The EU should resolutely withstand attempts to undermine ties with its citizens and with the countries aspiring to EU membership,” Linas Linkevičius stated at the Warsaw Security Forum.
At his meeting in Washington on 22 September, Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius discussed Lithuanian and transatlantic security.
On 21-22 September, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius will be paying a visit to Washington, D.C.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius, has congratulated the United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and all Americans on Independence Day. In his congratulatory letter, Linas Linkevičius notes that the U.S. remains the key strategic partner of Lithuania in ensuring its national security and underlines the significance of strategic partnership between Lithuania and the United States and of transatlantic ties.