Linkevičius: We agree with the USA on strategic goals
On 5 March, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius, together with his Latvian and Estonian counterparts, met with the Secretary of State of the United States of America Rex Tillerson in Washington, D.C.
“We are pleased that there is a consensus of opinion with the U.S.A. on both strategic goals and tactical steps in achieving pre-set objectives,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister after a meeting, which focused on some issues of great importance for the three Baltic states, including security, defence cooperation, economic development, and ways to strengthen transatlantic ties. The meeting also discussed the run-up to the NATO summit, sanctions against Russia, support for Ukraine, and the Baltic states’ preparations for the United States-Baltic summit on 3 April in Washington, D.C.
“Efforts to deepen and develop transatlantic ties between the U.S.A. and Lithuania are of great significance today. In order to ensure long-term security, the three Baltic states need to work hand in hand with the United States in areas such as defence, counterterrorism, hybrid and other threats. Nevertheless, it is equally important to find new ways to strengthen economic relations, to promote mutual investments, and to explore opportunities for creating new jobs both in Lithuania and in the U.S.,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister.
Linkevičius thanked Tillerson for the key role of the U.S. in our region and called for further strengthening its support for the Baltic states and for the whole region. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister noted that Lithuania, just like other Baltic states, allocated 2% of GDP to defence, actively contributed to the allied effort in the fight against international terrorism, together with the U.S. and other allies contributed to the mission in Iraq, and was preparing to strengthen its mission in Afghanistan.
According to Lithuania’s Foreign Minister, as Russia continues its aggression against the people of Ukraine and does not take any steps to implement the Minsk agreements, democratic countries must unilaterally maintain sanctions.
“Through the sanctions we seek to encourage the Kremlin to change its aggressive policies. As long as the aggression continues and the Minsk agreements are not implemented, the sanctions must stay in place. I am pleased that we agree on this issue with our strategic partner – the U.S. As regards the sanctions, it is important for the EU and the U.S. to continue to coordinate their actions closely,” said Linkevičius. He also emphasized that the West must proactively support Ukraine on the road to reforms, including through the application of such instruments as the European plan for Ukraine.