US Senator Richard Joseph Durbin after the meeting with the Speaker of the Seimas: ‘Lithuania has once again emerged as the defender of freedom and democracy’
Press release, 21 September 2022
Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas, met with the US Senate leaders: Senator Richard Joseph (Dick) Durbin, one of the most influential US politicians of Lithuanian descent; Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Chuck Grassley, Co-chair of the Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus; Senators Susan Collins and Amy Klobuchar. The meeting focused on the ways to preserve regional, energy and economic security amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.
‘Lithuania has once again emerged as the defender of freedom and democracy. Today’s meeting reaffirmed our partnership and proved the exceptional determination of the people in Eastern Europe in the face of Putin’s war,’ said Senator Durbin publicly after the meeting.
‘I thanked both the Senator personally and the entire United States of America, who play a crucial role in ensuring the global order and security, for their support to Lithuania and Ukraine, the latter daily fighting for its own, European and global democratic values and future. Lithuania really appreciates the US as a strategic partner and wants nothing less than to reinforce this partnership,’ said Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen.
Photo by Olga Posaškova, Office of the Seimas
When talking with the senators about energy security as one of the most topical issues, the Speaker of the Seimas said that Europe, like Lithuania, must become completely independent from Russia’s energy resources. The Kremlin will then lose its energy leverage used as a geopolitical weapon.
‘A highly integrated and well-interconnected regional energy market is necessary to ensure uninterrupted energy supply and affordable prices for our consumers. In our conversation I said that the US plays a crucial role in ensuring our resilience and energy independence, since 82 % of the liquefied natural gas in the Klaipėda LNG terminal comes particularly from the United States,’ said Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen.
Russia’s energy blackmail only proves the painful effect of the sanctions that are already in place. It is crucial to properly implement the agreed measures as well as to plan new ones. ‘Russia feels the burden of sanctions, and let it be so. Russians are ready to pay for the Kremlin’s war until this price becomes objectively unbearable. As cynical as it may sound at the sight of the people dying constantly, one day an empty fridge will win the battle against a TV set in Russia,’ said Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen.
The Speaker of the Seimas plans to attend the UN Women, Peace and Leadership Symposium in New York and hear the address by Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, at the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly. The visit to the 9/11 Memorial&Museum in New York and meeting with the Lithuanian Alliance of America are also on her schedule.