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Baiba Braže un Gabrielius Landsbergis
Photo: Jurijus Azanovas, Lithuanian Foreign Ministry

On 10 May 2024, during her working visit to Lithuania, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Baiba Braže, met the Speaker of the Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament), Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabrielius Landsbergis.

As part of her visit, the Minister took part in a discussion on current foreign policy developments organised by Lithuania’s Eastern Europe Studies Centre.

The officials of the two countries discussed current bilateral and regional cooperation, the security situation in the Baltic region, developments in and support to Ukraine, as well as other topics high on the international agenda, including the situation in the Middle East and Georgia. Views were exchanged on strategic energy and infrastructure projects, with a special focus on Rail Baltica.

Baiba Braže highlighted the close bilateral relations between Latvia and Lithuania and the importance of cooperation between the EU and NATO to strengthen the security of the Baltic region and to consolidate support to Ukraine, both for its defence and for integration with the EU and NATO.

At the press point for the Lithuanian media, Foreign Minister Braže reiterated: “Ukraine has the right, under international law, to also use weapons supplied by the West for strikes on military facilities in the Russian territories wherefrom Russia launches its attacks on Ukraine. Ukraine may strike targets not only in the sovereign territory of Ukraine, but also in the areas that Russia attacks it from.”

During the visit, the officials of the two countries discussed further steps of making pressure on Russia, which includes the tightening of restrictive measures through adoption of the 14th package of sanctions and eliminating opportunities to circumvent the existing sanctions, as well as holding Russia accountable for the crime of aggression against Ukraine.

“Ukraine is a priority for all the Baltic States – Ukraine’s victory is a common goal for all of us. At the same time, in the current geopolitical situation where different Russian hybrid warfare activities are observed on a daily basis, Latvia, the Baltic and Nordic region as a whole need to join efforts and strengthen security in a forward-looking and coordinated manner, including the resilience of society, in cooperation on the implementation of strategic infrastructure projects and in other fields. This is our own greatest responsibility,” the Foreign Minister said.

The officials agreed that region’s connectivity was also of critical importance; therefore, the Rail Baltica project was crucial not only in terms of ensuring mobility for the population but also military mobility in the south-north direction.

As the Latvian and Lithuanian officials discussed the NATO summit to be held in July, they agreed that it was necessary to achieve the amount of defence spending by all NATO Member States in the amount of at least 2% of their GDP. The three Baltic States have already exceeded this target. The officials also exchanged views on the implementation of NATO’s defence plans and strengthening the Allied presence in the Baltics.

10.05.2024. Ārlietu ministres Baibas Bražes darba vizīte Lietuvā