Speaker of the Seimas in Prague: ‘The EU autonomy should not mean autonomy from our like-minded partners but from authoritarian regimes’
Press release, 25 April 2023
Photo by Ilona Šilenkova (Office of the Seimas)
Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas, says that the war launched against Ukraine painfully reminds that the European Union failed to curb, in due time, authoritarian tendencies showing in Russia and Belarus. The lesson should be learnt; strategic steps should be taken to make the victory of liberal democracy irreversible; and mistakes in relations with non-democratic states should never be repeated by refraining from ever putting economy before the democratic principles and values.
‘Enlargement is key to the protection of values and strengthening of our collective security. This is an important geopolitical tool in a broad sense. However, this tool has to be used here and now to make the European Union capable of acting externally and responding to conventional, hybrid and newly emerging threats,’ Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen said.
According to the Speaker of the Seimas, this requires adequate capabilities, clear political will to act, strong partnerships with like-minded partners, primarily NATO, and strategic action. The war has opened the eyes of Europeans to see what energy dependency on Russia really meant and the price of the mistakes made because of the wishful thinking about the benefits of the economic ‘interdependence’ with aggressive authoritarian regimes. Therefore, according to the Speaker of the Seimas, the European Union should cooperate more closely with the US, strengthen bilateral trade and investment, promote technological leadership and, at the same time, address global economic, environmental and security challenges.
‘In re-orienting our energy sector, it is essential that we do not jump from bear to dragon, especially when investing in the development of renewable energy in line with climate change goals. Our transition from dependency on Russia and from fossil fuel to green energy must be built on secure foundations without further geopolitical risks,’ said Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen.
The Speaker of the Seimas thinks that, while moving away from Russian gas, oil and electricity, Europe should also get rid of the dependence on the Kremlin’s narrative on the 20th century European history, especially the causes and consequences of World War II.
‘Today this narrative packed with baseless accusation, cynical and shameless labelling is used by the Kremlin to justify its aggression against neighbouring countries. It is therefore important that the evaluation of the crimes of the totalitarian Communist regime becomes an integral part of the political agenda of the Western world as part of the fight against this information,’ Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen said.
On 25 April 2023, the Speaker of the Seimas concluded her working visit at the free-day Conference of Speakers of the European Union Parliaments in Prague. During her visit, the Speaker of the Seimas also participated in the quadrilateral meetings between the Speakers of the Parliaments of the Baltic States and Poland, as well as the bilateral meetings with the Speakers of the Parliaments of Denmark, Sweden and Ukraine.
Photos by Ilona Šilenkova (Office of the Seimas)
Ilona Petrovė, Spokesperson for Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas, tel. +370 5 239 6030, mob. +370 698 42071, e-mail: [email protected] www.lrs.lt