Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis: The Belarusian regime's terrorism cannot go unpunished

Created: 2021.05.27 / Renewed: 2021-05-28 10:20

When discussing the EU’s actions in response to a forced landing of a civilian aircraft in Minsk, Belarus, Lithuania's Foreign Minister noted that the EU's reaction was quick and unanimous, and now it was necessary to immediately implement the decisions taken by the European leaders on Minsk this Monday.

“Last Sunday's attack by an official Minsk should not be seen just as an isolated incident. It is part of the escalation that has continued since last August. Yet another attempt by the Lukashenko regime to stay in power by any means, posing an increasingly serious security issue for the EU as a whole. The Belarusian regime's acts of terrorism cannot go unpunished. Let us immediately discuss and agree on economic sectoral sanctions. Let us consider the oil, finance, energy and tobacco sectors," said the Foreign Minister, who also stressed that the international community's strong response would send a clear message to other authoritarian regimes. "The EU must send a strong signal to Russia that Europe will not close its eyes to the ongoing annexation of Belarus".

When speaking about frozen conflicts in the Eastern neighbourhood, Landsbergis pointed out that all Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – were heavily affected by the conflicts that were only politically frozen, but could become hot at any time.

“These enclaves, the areas of frozen conflicts, remind us of the situation in the Kaliningrad region. Russia has militarised territories in all the countries of the former Soviet Union and can easily instrumentalise the situation through the militarisation, passportisation, borderisation, or by launching an active operation. The country is not trying to and does not want to resolve frozen conflicts, but rather to obtain a geopolitical benefit, posing threats to the stability of the region and to the willingness of individual countries to cooperate with the EU," said the Foreign Minister. Landsbergis also highlighted that all the countries affected by these conflicts wanted more Europe, so greater EU involvement was the most appropriate response to Russia’s destructive role.

In a discussion on the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, the head of the EU's diplomacy stressed the timeliness of this strategy and the need to deepen the EU’s cooperation with our peer partners and countries in the region. According to Landsbergis, the EU’s strategic approach to the Indo-Pacific would help to maintain geopolitical balance in the region, counterbalance China’s global aspirations, and diversify supply chains. It is also important to strike the right balance between values, economic, security and geopolitical interests.