It is a great honor to address you on this special occasion, when we are celebrating the Centennial of the restoration of the Lithuanian State.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Congratulations to all participants of the Annual Meeting! I would like to start with what is today perhaps the greatest concern for everyone interested in international relations. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore certain divergence in our vital transatlantic relationship. While Russia's actions continue to pose the major threat to our security, Europe is still looking at the West – the USA – that has been and will remain an indispensable pillar of our common security architecture, its cornerstone. The growing rift between the EU and the United States of America has raised concerns. We have even heard high-ranking officials say in public that the world we thought we knew no longer exists.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs deplores the statement issued by the Embassy of the Russian Federation which prevents the 17th youth expedition “Misija Sibiras” (Mission Siberia) from traveling to locations in Russia where Lithuanian deportees are buried which was intended to take place from 17 July to 1 August.
Lithuania firmly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within the borders recognised by the international community and condemns Syria’s decision to recognise the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) as “independent states”. This is a grave violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and international law. We call upon the Government of Syria to carry out a policy underpinned by norms of international law rather than succumb to pressure from third countries and to repeal the decision without delay.
Lithuania supports the efforts of the Joint Investigation Team and trusts the independent and impartial investigation into the causes of the crash of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) of 17 July 2014 while it was flying over Ukraine.
Lithuanian MFA supports actions by the US, UK and France against the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons facilities. Use of chemical weapons in Syria crossed all possible red lines. Those responsible for use of chemical weapons against civil population, including children, must be held accountable.
On 18 March 2018, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin was re-elected. Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs regrets that the ongoing process cannot be considered as free and democratic elections. The electoral machinery was strictly controlled, while the process and its outcome were predetermined and known in advance.
The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry expresses strong solidarity with the United Kingdom following an audacious criminal act – the poisoning of a former military intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
“Having suffered under three occupations during World War II, Lithuania remembers and respects all victims of the Nazi and Communist totalitarian regimes. The end of the Second World War brought about the Soviet occupation that lasted half a century. The people of Lithuania were victims of crimes against humanity and human rights abuses by the Soviet authorities. Lithuanian freedom fighters, who took part in an armed resistance movement against the occupational authorities and domestic collaborators during a post-war period, deserve our utmost respect. They will always remain our heroes,” said the Ambassador Andrius Krivas, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the UN Office and other International Organisations in Geneva at the 37th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on 28 February in response to the statement by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. This morning Lavrov slammed Lithuania for ‘justifying Nazi collaborators’.
On the 4th anniversary of the illegal occupation of Crimea, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania condemns the Russian Federation’s military aggression against Ukraine that began four years ago in Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea and is currently continuing in eastern Ukraine. This has been a serious violation of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, the Helsinki Final Act, and also the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania offered sincere condolences to the victims and their families in the aftermath of the deadly shooting of 14 February at a school in Parkland, Florida, the United States of America.
On January 27 in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania strongly condemns the brutal act of terrorism against innocent people in central Kabul. A suicide bomber using an ambulance has killed at least 95 people and wounded at least 158 people.
The UN General Assembly resolution on Status of Jerusalem, adopted on 21 December 2017, reaffirms the provisions of relevant UN resolutions, adopted earlier on this issue. The resolution also reflects a long-held common position of the European Union on this issue.
On 11 November, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius congratulated the Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski on the National Independence Day. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister wished Poland and its people success, prosperity and well-being.
Lithuania has been engaged in investigating and educating about the Holocaust for many years already by consulting international Jewish organisations, the World Jewish Congress and the European Jewish Congress among them.