The victory by centrist Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential elections will mitigate the concerns in Lithuania over the Paris attitude towards Russia, says Ramūnas Vilpišauskas, director of the Vilnius University's International Relations and Political Science Institute.
Emmanuel Macron, the French President-elect
© AFP / Scanpix

"Lithuanian politicians will have fewer grounds to fear that France may hold a milder position on Russia, first of all when it comes to sanctions introduced after the Crimea annexation and the aggression against Eastern Ukraine," the political scientist told BNS on Sunday evening.

Exit polls show that Macron secure 65.5-66.1 percent of the vote in run-off presidential elections, defeating far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

Macron said during his election campaign that the sanctions against Russia should be continued.

In Vilpišauskas' words, the non-intensive bilateral ties between Vilnius and Paris probably won't change after Macron's elections. Treaties define the Lithuania-France relations as strategic partnership.

After publication of the French presidential election results, Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė declared willingness to cooperate with the new French leader in efforts to boost security and address issues relevant to Europeans. Grybauskaitė emphasized appreciation of the French decision to send troops to the NATO battalion in Lithuania next year.

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