On 8 January in Vilnius, Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius met with Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom Philip Hammond. The ministers discussed the European agenda, the implementation of NATO’s decisions, strengthening of security in the region, situation in Ukraine, the Eastern Partnership and relations with Russia.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

Linkevičius has stressed that Lithuania and the United Kingdom enjoy strong economic and political ties, and that the two countries share common views on most of the EU's individual positions, e.g., Lithuania, just as the UK, spoke up for faster development of the internal market, strengthening competitiveness, creating a digital market, strengthening energy security, deepening trade ties and strategic relations with the USA. Linkevičius has highlighted that he sees the United Kingdom as an important and strong member of the European Union.

Lithuania’s minister stressed the importance of the implementation of decisions made at NATO’s Summit in Wales on collective defence measures and called on the United Kingdom to once again take part in NATO’s air policing mission and in NATO’s military exercises in the Baltic region.

Linkevičius has noted that it is necessary to create a stable and secure region in the EU’s neighbourhood. To this end there was a need to further strengthen the Eastern Partnership programme and to deepen relations with countries participating in it.

Minister Linkevičius has said that Ukraine needs various humanitarian assistance, financial aid and expert support. There is a need for a consistent policy for the relationship with Russia. The current sanctions are effective and must be continued, according to the minister.

During the meeting, Lithuania’s foreign minister and the British foreign secretary signed a joint document of the United Kingdom, Denmark, Lithuania and Estonia, calling on EU institutions to fight against the Russian propaganda.

The ministers started their meeting by paying tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack in Paris on 7 January, and by expressing their solidarity with the people of France and the journalists.

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