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By: Eva-Maria Liimets, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Gabrielius Landsbergis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania

This year, on 28 August we mark the 30th anniversary since the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Sweden and Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. By celebrating this occasion and recalling the restoration of the independence of the Baltic States three decades ago, we would like to emphasize that Sweden played an important role and had the vision to support the Baltic States’ aspirations towards their freedom.

On 25 August, Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis participated via video-conference in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council where a decision was made to send a NATO Counter Hybrid Support Team to Lithuania.

On 24 August, Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis met with Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Schallenberg. They discussed bilateral relations, illegal migration and urgent items on the European Union (EU) and international agenda.

In the evening of 21 August, United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken called Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis to discuss China’s aggressive policy, bilateral cooperation and regional security.

On 22 August, in the evening, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis talked on the phone with Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez. Cooperation between Lithuania and the US was discussed and support to Lithuania on Taiwan and migration crisis was expressed.

Gabrielius Landsbergis, Minister of Foreign Affairs, sent a letter to Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, where he called for actions to guard the EU border from orchestrated irregular migrant flows and threat to the EU. 

On 26 August, at a ceremony in Berlin, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Arnoldas Pranckevičius officially took over the Presidency of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) National Coordinators' Group from Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office.

On August 12, OSCE Permanent Council discussed the situation in Belarus one year after the fraudulent Presidential elections  of August 8, 2020, and in the context of unprecedented repressions that followed.

On 30 July, Chancellor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Inga Černiuk and Rector of ISM University of Management and Economics Dalius Misiūnas signed a cooperation agreement between the MFA and ISM.

On 29 July, at the Permanent Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Lithuania rejected Belarus‘s claims that it was mistreating migrants crossing their mutual border. Lithuania underlined that the refugee flows it faces are irregular and artificially created by the Belarusian regime in Minsk in order to put political pressure on the Government of Lithuania and the EU.

On 22 July, the Chancellor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Inga Černiuk and the Rector of Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), Prof. Dr. Eugenijus Valatka signed a cooperation agreement between the Foreign Ministry and KTU.

On 16 July, Lithuania informed the Permanent Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) of a sharp increase in the number of third country nationals illegally crossing the state border from Belarus into Lithuania over the past two months. Belarusian border guard service has ceased cooperating and sharing information with their Lithuanian counterparts. Lithuania representative said that the Government believes that, by pursuing such policies, Belarus engages in using illegal migration as a political weapon, abusing international refugee protections. These illegal crossings are artificially stimulated and represent a clear act of political vengeance on the part of the Belarusian regime for Lithuania’s vocal stance towards grave violations of human rights in Belarus. 

The MFA informs about adoption by the Seimas of the amendments to the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens and the accompanying legislation (Draft No XIVP-719(2)), thereby providing for faster processing of asylum applications and restricting some of the rights of asylum seekers in cases where the state is not in a position to guarantee their rights due to a state of war or state of emergency, as well as emergency or an emergency event due to the mass influx of foreigners. 

On 12 July, the Permanent Representative of Lithuania Ambassador Andrius Krivas sent letters to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Mr. Filippo Grandi and the Director General of the International Organization for Migration Mr. António Vitorino in which he provided detailed information on the increased flow of third-country irregular migrants from Belarus to Lithuania and asked respective organizations to react in accordance with their mandates.

On 12 July, the Chancellor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Inga Černiuk and the Rector of Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) Prof. Dr. Inga Žalėnienė signed a cooperation agreement between the Foreign Ministry and the MRU.

Panel 2: Gender-equal socioeconomic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
Intervention by the Nordic and Baltic States
delivered by H.E. Amb. Andrius Krivas, Permanent Representative of Lithuania in Geneva
6 July 2021

Please be informed that illegal crossing of the border of the Republic of Lithuania incurs criminal responsibility under the laws of Lithuania. Foreigners seeking for asylum in Lithuania can legally apply by submitting an application at border checkpoints of Lithuania or, having arrived in Lithuania by legal means, at the Migration Department.