Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius says he understands why German Chancellor Angela Merkel wishes to find a solution to the Ukrainian crisis that would not harm Russia. He adds, however, that it is just as important not to harm Ukraine either.
Linas Linkevičius
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

"The wish not to harm Russia is understandable. I would like to add that it's equally important, and we would like that even more, not to harm Ukraine as the forces are not equal here. Both the military and economic forces are not equal," Linkevičius told the Žinių Radijas news radio on Tuesday.

In his words, the search for a solution to this conflict is also a test of partnership with the West.

"At the end of the day, it's a test of our values, a test of the reliability of our partnership with both the European Union and Western countries. A test of whether a country can choose its own path and express its opinion freely or it is forbidden and somebody has the veto right. There are a lot of questions here, and I think that, naturally, we need to look for a solution but, in no way, (…) by sacrificing sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence," the Lithuanian foreign minister said.

In an interview with Germany's public broadcaster ARD on Sunday, Merkel said a solution to the Ukrainian crisis should be found that would not damage Russia and would be chosen by the Ukrainian people themselves.

Ukrainian and Russian Presidents Petro Poroshenko and Vladimir Putin are meeting for talks in Minsk on Tuesday. The meeting will be also attended by high-ranking EU officials.

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