President of the Republic of Lithuania

The President: the Bucharest Nine must ensure that the vision of united Europe becomes reality

2020-03-10

President Gitanas Nausėda took part at the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the eastern flank of NATO countries, referred to as the Bucharest Nine.

The President, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Ministers of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria as well as Assistant to US Secretary of State and NATO Secretary General for Defense Planning discussed deterrence and stepping up defense in the eastern flank of NATO, threats and challenges to regional security, shared views on information technology security, NATO’s role in countering terrorism, energy security, and other topical security and defense matters.

“Today we observe, that in some areas western values are somehow in decline. We too often measure values and principles against profit and pragmatism. We seem to have been losing some of that ideological clarity. “Has the West lost its way?” – this is a question we hear more and more on both sides of the Atlantic. Such development profoundly worries me. The political West has no other option but to stand together ready to defend its principles and values. I could not stress enough the importance of unity here. Unity has many links among us. The transatlantic link is by far the most important one. So, we need the U.S. to remain a European power. This is the only winning strategy. For all of us,” said the President as he welcomed foreign guests.

According to the President, the Bucharest Nine met on a very special day – the 30th anniversary of the reestablishment of the Independence of Lithuania. European and Western values have always been our values and the source of our strength. They sustained our goals, choices and strong commitment as we embarked on the road to Euro-Atlantic integration that led us to membership in the European Union and NATO.

“I also believe, that the Group of Nine has collective strength and obligation to contribute to ensuring that the vision of united Europe becomes a reality. We need to fully implement what has been agreed by NATO leaders: forward presence always supported by exercises, enablers, reinforcement, and air defense, to name only few. Allied and especially U.S. presence in our region is the strongest deterrent,” the President said.

The President expressed hope that the unity and determination of the Bucharest Nine would help Georgia and Ukraine become members of the NATO family. “The Bucharest Summit decision stays for more than a decade now. It also stays as our promise. Decisions must be implemented, promises – need to be kept. The Open Door policy proved to be the most effective tool in expanding security and providing peace for millions of Europeans. Lack of political will to take decisive action and decision over these two partner countries leaves us in the mist of ‘strategic confusion’ far too long, risking to undermine the credibility of NATO policies”, President Nausėda said.

A nine-state cooperation format was launched in order to defend shared security interests of the region within NATO following Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.

 

The President‘s Communication Group

Last updated 2020.03.11 10:41

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