Mindaugas Puidokas, Member of the Seimas: ‘Mr Puidokas, LFGU representative at NATO PA, appealed to NATO Secretary General and NATO PA Members with regard to the statements made by Rasa Juknevičienė’
Press release, 12 April 2018
Dr Mindaugas Puidokas, representative of the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU) Political Group of the Seimas to NATO Parliamentary Assembly, appealed to Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, and members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, informing them that the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union Political Group, in its capacity of the largest political group in the governing coalition of the Lithuanian Parliament, welcomed NATO’s major role in ensuring peace and security in Europe in general and in the Baltic Sea region in particular.
‘We hold mutual cooperation and shared commitments key to building regional peace and security. Therefore, in the process of drafting the national budget for 2018, we made every effort to meet Lithuania’s commitment to NATO allies by assigning 2 % of GDP to national defence. As a result, the appropriations of the Ministry of Defence now consist of EUR 873 million, or 2.01 % of GDP. This represents an impressive increase of the defence budget by EUR 149.2 million, or 20.6 % on 2017. During LFGU’s very first year in office, the capacities of the Lithuanian secret services in charge of safeguarding national security were increased, and so was their preparedness to counter threats to national security. Gratified with the plausible result envisaged while drafting the budget for 2018, the political group hopes to reach a 2.5 % GDP target by 2030 through further gradual increase of the defence spending,’ says Mr Puidokas in the appeal.
Mr Puidokas argues that his appeal to the NATO Secretary General stemmed from concerns raised by colleagues from the NATO PA on politically incorrect interventions by Rasa Juknevičienė, seen as irresponsible in international diplomacy. In her interventions, Ms Juknevičienė alleged that the political party that met with success in the Seimas elections and became part of the governing coalition was representing powers hostile to NATO and Lithuania.
‘As a member of the Lithuanian Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, I am unhappily surprised at questions from colleagues from the NATO PA concerning allegations by Rasa Juknevičienė, voiced, as I am informed, at her meetings with delegates of the Parliamentary Assembly. She is thus raising unfounded doubts about Lithuania’s geopolitical course and reliability in NATO. Made both in Lithuania and abroad during encounters with the international community, these allegations are creating an atmosphere of instability and distrust with Lithuania’s political authorities and can be equalled to misinformation and incitement to hatred,’ Ms Puidokas says.
According to Mr Puidokas, apart from conflicting with NATO’s high standards of conduct, such behaviour of Ms Juknevičienė discredits her position of President of the NATO PA, providing benefits solely to NATO’s and Lithuania’s common enemies.
Mr Puidokas’ appeal, according to its author, is aimed at expressing deep concern and drawing the attention of Mr Stoltenberg and members of the NATO PA to statements by Ms Juknevičienė, Member of the Seimas and President of the NATO PA. Despite the LFGU’s contribution to Lithuania’s national defence and consistent implementation of commitments to NATO, Ms Juknevičienė continues to claim that the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union is pro-Russian and serves Russia’s interests, concurrently alleging that the leaders of the ruling party are Kremlin’s agents.
‘I am convinced that statements of Ms Juknevičienė by no means reflect the approach of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly to the legitimate authorities of the Republic of Lithuania and to the country’s reinforced contribution to NATO,’ Mr Puidokas says.
Ramūnas Karbauskis, Head of the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union Political Group in the Seimas, contacted the State Security Department on the matter on Monday, 9 April 2018.
For more information:
Dr Mindaugas Puidokas, Member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania; Deputy Chair of the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union; Member of the Seimas delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, tel.+370 5 239 6625, e-mail: Mindaugas.Puidokas@lrs.lt
Last updated on 04/13/2018