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12th Seimas (2016–2020)

Speaker of the Seimas in Prague: ‘Female leaders of EU Parliaments should be more active in supporting women fighting for democracy’

Press release, 24 April 2023 

Photo by Olga Posaškova, Office of the Seimas


At the Sunday’s meeting held within the framework of the Conference of Speakers of the European Union Parliaments in Prague, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas, stressed the importance of solidarity among women politicians. She also emphasised that the EU should deliver a stronger response with regard to the statements by the Chinese Ambassador to France concerning Crimea and the Baltic States.


In her remarks about a greater role of women in foreign policy, Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen called on female leaders to demonstrate greater solidarity with women fighting for democracy and reminded everyone of the Belarussian case, where the civil society protests, which had been organised following the fraudulent and unfair presidential elections, were led by three women, namely Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Maria Kolesnikova, and Veronika Tsepkalo.


The Speaker of the Seimas went on saying, ‘These women have become the symbol of Belarusian struggle for freedom and democracy. The situation might have been different in Belarus and even in Ukraine, if two and a half years ago women of the world, especially female leaders, had expressed greater support for the democratic movement led by the three women mentioned above’.


Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen took note that women and their children were the ones to suffer greatly during the war in Ukraine. It was therefore crucial for women, especially those in leadership positions, to stand in solidarity with Ukrainian women and help them access the necessary humanitarian, medical, and social assistance.


‘Most importantly, however, we must demand that Russia withdraw from Ukraine immediately. We must help Ukraine to push back this invasion and welcome Ukraine into the European Union. As the US politician Madeleine Albright once put it, “there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women”’, said Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen.


At the meeting, the Speaker of the Seimas also reacted to the statement made by China’s Ambassador to France, that ex-Soviet Union countries did not have effective status under international law. Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen stressed that ‘European Union partners need to deliver a stronger response with regard to the statement by the Ambassador, which also calls into question the international status of the once captive nations that are now EU Member States. This proves again and again that the European Union has to talk to China in the 27+1 format, while the 14+1 and other similar formats are an example of counterproductive regionalisation and attempts to divide the EU’.


Ilona Petrovė, Spokesperson for Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas, tel. +370 5 239 6030, mob. +370 698 42 071, e-mail: [email protected],


   Last updated on 04/24/2023 16:15
   Monika Kutkaitytė