President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with the Vice President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, to discuss measures to ensure the security of the Baltic States. A bilateral meeting focused on NATO’s collective defense guarantees, Lithuania-U.S. strategic partnership, the situation in Ukraine, and the international community’s efforts to preserve peace in Europe
According to the President, Russia’s actions in Ukraine and demonstration of military power pose threats not only to the security of the Baltic States and Poland, but also to the entire international community.
“We witness the use of brutal force to redraw the map of Europe and to undermine the post-war political architecture established in Europe. And this is happening near the borders of Lithuania and is a direct threat to our security. We see that the United States is immediately responding to the situation and taking all necessary actions to ensure regional security. The augmented NATO air policing mission in Zokniai is one of such examples,” the President said.
Vice President Joe Biden reaffirmed his country’s unwavering commitment to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Baltic countries.
When speaking about bilateral relations President Grybauskaitė underlined that the United States was a strategic partner of Lithuania. It has always firmly supported and continues to support Lithuania’s aspirations to ensure political, military, economic and energy security in the region.
The President stressed that Lithuania’s key objective was to reduce its dependence on Gazprom gas, therefore Klaipėda liquefied natural gas terminal would be launched already at the end of this year. According to the President, Lithuania is interested in the prospects of importing liquefied natural gas from the United States and is looking forward to the U.S. Congress’ political decision regarding liberalization of gas exports for European countries.
Following the bilateral meeting of Lithuanian and U.S. delegations, a trilateral meeting of Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Latvian President Andris Bērziņš and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was held.
The Presidents of Lithuania and Latvia and the U.S. Vice President strongly condemned Russian actions on the territory of sovereign Ukraine. According to President Grybauskaitė, the so-called Crimea referendum held on Sunday is illegal and is a violation of the Constitution of Ukraine, the UN Charter and international law.
On Thursday, a European Council meeting in Brussels will consider possible sanctions on Russian and Ukrainian officials who are responsible for the actions in violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Financial support to Ukraine will also be discussed.
In Brussels, it is planned to sign the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
Photo: Press Service of the President