Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas: security situation in eastern Ukraine remains tense and unpredictable
Press release, 18 May 2017
Photos of the Office of the Seimas (author Džoja Gunda Barysaitė)
On 18 May 2017, Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas, met with Col. Gen. Stepan Poltorak, Minister of Defence of Ukraine, and discussed the situation in Ukraine.
“The security situation in eastern Ukraine remains tense and unpredictable. The situation will persist until Russian military hardware and mercenaries are withdrawn from the territory of Ukraine. It is important for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to obtain safe and secure access throughout Ukraine,” said the Speaker of the Seimas.
Mr Pranckietis stated that the current situation in Ukraine was causing concern and, therefore, every effort to de-escalate the situation had to be made.
“In cooperation with the NATO allies, we actively contribute to the reform of the Ukrainian defence system with a view to guaranteeing civilian control over the armed forces. We want to note that the members of the antiterrorist operation in the East of the country need greater attention from the government. Participation of Ukrainian troops in exercises abroad is a positive political and practical step increasing interoperability between Ukraine and NATO,” said the Speaker of the Seimas.
Since the violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and the start of military aggression in eastern Ukraine by the Russian Federation in 2014, Lithuania and Ukraine have extended their cooperation concentrating on several areas such as rehabilitation of wounded soldiers, material support, military training of Ukrainian troops, reform of the armed forces, and advice on reform.
On 19 May 2017, Viktoras Pranckietis met with Gen. Raymond A. Thomas III, Commander of US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). They discussed relevant matters of security and defence as well as participation of Lithuania and the United States in the projects of assistance to Ukraine.
Out of all EU national Parliaments, the Seimas has been the most active advocate for the continuous policy of full support to Ukraine.
“When talking in various international formats, I always talk about Europeans dying in Ukraine and the urgent need for the whole Europe to be united in supporting Ukraine,” said Mr Pranckietis.
Dalia Vencevičienė, Senior Adviser to the Speaker of the Seimas, tel. +370 5 239 6016, mob. +370 698 42 071, e-mail: [email protected]