President of the Republic of Lithuania

Directly to the UN Secretary-General – about “Zapad 2017” challenges


Monday, September 18, New York – President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations in New York and directly informed him about Russia‘s actions at the border with Lithuania, security situation in the region and threats posed to the people all over the world by aggressive military exercise “Zapad”.

According to the President, it is very important to give objective inside information to the world leaders and heads of international organizations on what is going on in our region. President Dalia Grybauskaitė is the only leader of the states directly exposed to the threats by “Zapad” who has a possibility to present the situation directly to the Secretary-General during the Assembly.

According to the President, simulation of a real conflict with NATO member countries, concealed scope and scenarios of the exercise, deployment of soldiers and tactical weapons as well as unconventional actions speak about aggressive and offensive nature of “Zapad”. The effects of capacities of nuclear weapons, artillery and missile mobilized in Kaliningrad may reach even Lisbon.

The world has to learn the lessons of Crimea, Transnistria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia and do not overlook aggressive actions. With the connivance of abusers, we will only encourage them to proceed. The role of the United Nations in ensuring peace and security is paramount.

Dalia Grybauskaitė expressed support to the aims of the new Secretary-General of the United Nations to reform this unique international organization for it to have real levers to protect the world from wars. According to the President, the recent reaction of the United Nations towards the violations of international law was not sufficient and the United Nations failed to fulfill its mission completely.

Rapid and transparent organization is needed for ensuring global peace and stability. Lithuania is prepared to give assistance in reforming the United Nations and it supports the initiatives of the Secretary-General. Lithuania has joined U.S. declaration on promoting changes.

Former Prime Minister of Portugal António Guterres who has become Secretary-General of the United Nations this year, clearly understands the threats posed to Europe and appreciates Lithuania’s efforts in drawing the world leaders’ attention towards security challenges in our region.  Dalia Grybauskaitė has also presented information related to Lithuania’s preparedness to deter threats and the presence of NATO allied troops in the region. The possible contribution of the international community in ensuring peace in our continent was also discussed.

The President and the Secretary-General of the United Nations also talked about cooperation in defending women’s rights, addressing gender equality issues and global problem – violence against women. Dalia Grybauskaitė who has been chairing the Council of Women World Leaders for the third year has joined the circle of world leaders formed by Secretary-General António Guterres aimed at curbing sexual violence against local population in the UN peacekeeping missions.

President Dalia Grybauskaitė has invited the Secretary-General of the United Nations to attend the celebration events of the Centenary of the Restoration of the State of Lithuania next year.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2017.09.18 12:00