President of the Republic of Lithuania President of the Republic of Lithuania

The President: EU leaders unanimously agreed to increase vaccine production and supply and discussed position on Russia

2021-03-25

President Gitanas Nausėda participated in a video conference of the members of the European Council held to discuss the vaccine roll-out, the green certificate, relations with Russia and Turkey, transatlantic relations, and the single market.

During the first part of the session, European leaders addressed the challenges of containing the COVID pandemic, ensuring the supply and production of vaccines, as well as current EU-Russia relations.

Leaders agreed that the target of vaccinating 70 percent of adult citizens was realistic. They called on the Commission to ensure timely and sufficient vaccine delivery, to increase production capacity and to eliminate the still exiting disturbances in supply chains.

Gitanas Nausėda underlined that Lithuania supported the introduction of a “green passport” which would also certify immunity against the virus. “We need a unanimous decision on which vaccines are recognized in the green certificate. In this case, the approval of the European Medicines Agency is necessary,” the President said. 

The President underscored the necessity to strengthen the communication policy and to create a mechanism for donating excess vaccines to the EU’s neighboring countries.

“Russia’s aggressive posture remains unchanged. 

We do not see its efforts to implement the Minsk agreements, and the annexation of Crimea continues. Cyber and hybrid attacks on the EU persist, and brutal violations of human rights and freedoms are a daily occurrence in Russia. Neither can we forget about the unlawful imprisonment of Alexei Navalny. The creation of a union state with Belarus is underway. All of this does not presuppose a review of relations with Russia. On the contrary, if the situation does not change, Lithuania calls for tightening sanctions against Russia,” the President said.

Gitanas Nausėda underlined the need to maintain the five-principle approach to EU-Russia relations and its balanced implementation. We must support human rights defenders and non-governmental organizations.   Sanctions should apply not only for the use of force but also for corruption. Exceptional focus should be placed on an ambitious long-term Eastern Partnership policy and on associated partner countries: Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

The President noted the need to strengthen the EU’s resilience and response to digital, cyber and disinformation threats posed by Russia.

Leaders also discussed EU-Turkey relations. The President pointed out that Turkey was a partner of the EU and an important ally of NATO, therefore a constructive dialogue should be maintained, without losing sight of Turkey’s commitments.

Gitanas Nausėda, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Last updated 2021.03.25 19:43

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