President Gitanas Nausėda took part in a video annual conference of heads of Lithuanian diplomatic missions, consular offices and representations to international organizations. The President delivered an overview of Lithuania’s foreign policy priorities and challenges, setting the guidelines of action to diplomatic missions for protecting national strategic interests in an ever more complicated security environment.
“The changing geopolitical, economic and technological environment, especially the coronavirus pandemic, has introduced forced corrections to all of our agendas, plans and priorities. Diplomatic service is no exception. And even though the health crisis has not evolved into a hard-security crisis, there is no sign of improvement in the security situation, both locally and globally. Quite the opposite. The rampant pandemic did not eliminate conventional threats on our doorstep. It even made it possible for them to grow stronger. Increased flows of disinformation, the spread of despicable false news and cyber attacks have long become part of our every-day life. The falsification of history and interference in national internal matters persist, too. Military activity in our neighborhood has not declined. Aggressive actions in Ukraine continue, energy blackmail is still in use,” the President said.
Therefore, according to the President, security will continue to cost us – we have to acknowledge and understand it. For Lithuania, investment into defense continues to be an existential necessity, not a mere whim. Once in the two-percent club, Lithuania needs to keep its membership and continue allocating not less than two percent of GDP for defense spending.
Speaking about the transatlantic bond, the President underlined that adverse winds between America and Europe were disturbing. Here, the President said, Lithuania’s diplomatic efforts will be especially needed: we must act as dedicated and committed advocates of a strong, irreplaceable transatlantic connection – the bedrock of NATO and Lithuania’s security guarantee.
According to Gitanas Nausėda, European security initiatives should complement, not duplicate, NATO or replace its efforts. U.S. presence in Europe continues to be the strongest deterrent and the key for ensuring peace and security. The President underscored the need for keeping the U.S. focus on the security of our region and Lithuania: the relationship with the United States has always been Lithuania’s top strategic priority, including its wish to have American troops further deployed to Lithuania.
In his address to the diplomatic community, Gitanas Nausėda also reviewed the European political process and EU negotiations on the multiannual financial framework. He pointed out that it was very important for Lithuania to act effectively in the European Union and coordinate successfully European and national agendas. Among the other highlighted issues was the relationship with Russia as well as Eastern Partnership and regional policies. Relations with the neighboring countries – Poland, Ukraine and Belarus – were also addressed, including the unsafe development of nuclear power in Ostrovets and economic diplomacy.
The President assured that the Lithuanian diplomatic service was highly respected and appreciated. It created the image of Lithuania as a credible and reliable country on the international stage. Gitanas Nausėda wished Lithuanian diplomats consolidated and streamlined efforts as they worked together to protect the strategic interests of Lithuania.
Last updated 2020.06.30 09:49Back