Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, Chair of the Seimas Committee on European Affairs: Ukraine’s membership of NATO is vital for the security and stability of the entire Baltic region
Photo by the Administration of the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia
‘We believe that Ukraine’s membership of NATO is vital for the security and stability of the entire Baltic region. We are committed to advocating at the NATO Summit in Vilnius that Ukraine be invited to join NATO and be given practical support,’ said Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, Deputy Speaker of the Seimas and Chair of the Seimas Committee on European Affairs, at the meeting of the Chairpersons of the European Affairs Committees of the Baltic and Polish Parliaments, which was held in the Latvian Saeima on Monday, 24 April 2023.
The Chair of the Committee pointed out that on 6 April 2023 the Seimas had adopted a Resolution on the Key Goals of Lithuania at the NATO Summit in Vilnius. At the upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania will aim to significantly strengthen the forward defence and deterrence of the Baltic region and the entire eastern flank of NATO. ‘Lithuania is well aware of the risks and challenges posed by Russia’s aggressive actions in the region. We firmly believe that NATO needs to demonstrate a clear commitment to collective defence and deterrence in the region. In our turn, we are fully committed to working with our allies to strengthen our defence capabilities and infrastructure,’ said Ms Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė.
In addition, the Member of the Seimas stressed the need to expand and strengthen practical cooperation between NATO and the Indo-Pacific partners in the areas of technology, cyber-defence and resilience to hybrid threats, and to defend the rules-based international order.
When referring to energy security in the face of Russia’s waged war, Ms Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė noted that on 22 April 2023 Lithuania had performed an isolated operation test of the country’s electricity system. The electricity system was fully disconnected from the Russian grid for the first time and successfully operated independently. ‘We have to acknowledge that synchronisation with the continental European network comes with risks and costs, regardless of when it is implemented. However, synchronous operation with the electricity system of a terrorist state carries even greater risks. Therefore, we urge other Baltic States to join the isolated operation tests and withdraw from the post-Soviet BRELL agreement with Russia and Belarus without any further waiting until 2025,’ stressed Ms Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė.
Photos by the Administration of the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia
Informal meetings of the Chairpersons of the Committees on European Affairs of the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish Parliaments are held on a rotating basis before each COSAC. It is noteworthy that this meeting was also attended by Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Chair of the Committee on Ukraine’s Integration into the EU of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and Andris Kužnieks, Deputy Head of the European Commission Representation in Latvia.
In the framework of the meeting, the guests visited the Riga Hydroelectric Power Plant and the solar panel park in Salaspils.
The Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC) is the largest and most important event of the EU affairs committees of the national Parliaments of the EU Member States to discuss the most important items on the EU agenda. COSAC is hosted by the Parliament of the Member State holding the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The next LXIX COSAC Plenary will take place in Stockholm on 14–16 November 2023.
Martynas Lukoševičius, Adviser, Office of the Seimas Committee on European Affairs, tel. +370 5 239 6881