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The Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs: ‘We would like to hear from our Allies, among the thirty countries of NATO, that everybody could be able to repeat what President Joe Biden said that every inch of NATO territory would be defended.’

Press release, 28 May 2022


The 2022 Spring Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) takes place in the buildings of the Seimas on 27–30 May. Gabrielius Landsbergis, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, has presented his first report at the Political Committee today. After thanking the governments of the NATO member countries for the decisions taken to help Ukraine and isolate Russia, he pointed out that there were important issues that still lack clear answers.

Photo by Džoja Gunda Barysaitė, Office of the Seimas


Will we have enough resolve and enough patience to continue with our assistance to Ukraine? This is a very important question. I am afraid that the answer is not clear. We are very proud of the achievements of the Ukrainian people and the army on the battlefield, but it may seem to us that the war is won, that the assistance we have already provided is sufficient [...] the battle for Ukraine is far from won. We are not at the beginning of it, but it is definitely not won. And the resolve to keep on fighting is there, some of the great battles have been won, the battles for Kyiv and Kharkiv, but the battles for Donetsk and Luhansk are not yet won. We have the means and we have the tools that could be provided to Ukraine so that they could keep on winning. But I don’t hear yet the decisions that should be made in the capitals’, said Mr Landsbergis.


An even more difficult question, in the Minister’s view, is whether we will have enough resolve to completely isolate Russia. According to him, there are discussions about post-war relations with Russia, that is with the current Russia, with the Putinist Russia, but not with the opposition. ‘A murderous Russia, a genocidal Russia, and we still allow ourselves to think that we might have a way of dealing with it. I am ready to do everything to keep this regime isolated until it is changed and until Russian people are allowed to run their country’, stressed the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Photo by Džoja Gunda Barysaitė, Office of the Seimas


       And the most important question for Lithuania is whether we will be able to change NATO’s posture in the Eastern flank. The war in Ukraine leads us to think about what it would look like if a NATO member country was attacked. If Putin did not lose the war in Ukraine, emphasised Mr Landsbergis, there might be a desire to test Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty in the Baltic States. Therefore, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said, we ask NATO to change its posture, especially with regard to the Baltic States: ‘We would like to hear from our Allies, among the thirty countries of NATO, that everybody could be able to repeat what President Joe Biden said that every inch of NATO territory will be defended, that means that there has to be practical ways of how that will be done [...] There is no consensus yet, but I hope we will be able to find a consensus before the Madrid Summit and we will take the necessary decisions so that, after the Madrid Summit, politicians in Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn and Warsaw could tell our people: ‘This is what we have agreed and every inch of NATO territory will be defended.’.


Emine Dzhaparova, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, who spoke remotely at the meeting, discussed in detail the current situation in Ukraine, thanked for the assistance and asked for urgent help with weapons. She pointed out that if Russia was not stopped now, eastern Ukraine could be lost for a very long time and war could spill beyond Ukraine. Ms Dzhaparova said that in the eight years following the occupation of Crimea, when the war in Donbas began, Ukraine tried to find a dialogue with Putin: ‘I believe that Russia has seen this as weakness and used this time to prepare for a full-scale war [...] When the aggressor is not stopped, it becomes even stronger.’.


The First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine welcomed the sanctions against Russia and stated that the full potential of the sanctions had not yet been exhausted. The energy embargo, in the rapporteur’s view, is very important: since the beginning of the war, Russia has received USD 63 billion for fossil fuels, which certainly does not weaken Russia.


Ms Dzhaparova regretted the attitudes of some states towards Ukraine’s NATO membership: ‘You give us what we need to fight Putin, so we free you from having to face Putin yourself [...] Our presence in NATO will be much less costly than the need for the whole Western world to fight against Putin in the future.’.

Photo by Džoja Gunda Barysaitė, Office of the Seimas


Jolanta Anskaitienė, Adviser, Press Office, Information and Communication Department, tel. +370 5 239 6508, e-mail: [email protected]

   Last updated on 05/29/2022 14:28
   Monika Kutkaitytė