By Petras Vaida
October 8, 2015
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevicius met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden Margot Wallstrom to discuss bilateral partnership, the situation in Ukraine, relations with Russia, regional security, cooperation in the region and in the fields of strategic communication, energy and transport, reports BC Lithuanian MFA.
“Political and economic relations between Lithuania and Sweden continue to strengthen, there is a growing number of joint initiatives and projects.” said Linkevicius after the meeting on 7 October in Vilnius. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister noted that the Nordbalt power iterconnection project with Sweden was to be launched in 2015, which would allow not only to reduce dependence on Russian energy sources, but would enhance competitiveness and create favourable conditions for consumers.
The Foreign Ministers voiced support for Ukraine, its territorial integrity and decided to pay a joint visit to Ukraine this November. Linkevicius stressed that the sanctions policy towards Russia had to be extended and directly linked to the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. At the same time, there must be a principled assessment of such Russian actions, as the annexation of Crimea, the illegal detention of Ukrainian citizens, an objective investigation into the tragedy of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet and other aspects of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
Linkevicius underscored that Lithuania demonstrated solidarity in the face of a refugee crisis. “Sweden has gained a wealth of experience in the field of integration of refugees into its society and, therefore, its expertise is very important to us,” said Lithuanian Foreign Minister.
The Swedish Foreign Minister thanked Lithuania for its constructive position on Europe’s refugee crisis.
The Lithuanian and Swedish Foreign Ministers agreed that Russian propaganda was a shared problem, so the countries had to coordinate actions and cooperate in the field of strategic communication.
Linkevicius condemned Russia’s actions in Syria, as they “do not contribute to the solution of the problem, only escalate the conflict”.
Wallstrom came to Lithuania as part of the delegation of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Queen Silvia, who are paying a state visit to the country on 7-8 October. This is her second visit to Lithuania after the appointment as the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden in autumn 2014.