VILNIUS - Ukraine's victory is an existential issue not only for the Baltic states but also for the West, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said at the 29th Baltic Council meeting in Tallinn on Friday.
"In 2024, we will have to continue devoting a lot of time and effort to managing crises and preventing their consequences and aftermath. But even worse scenarios are possible, which could directly affect the security of the Baltic states. Today, they no longer seem unrealistic," Lithuania's top diplomat said. "At the moment, the rules-based order is being defended in Ukraine. Therefore, Ukraine's victory is an existential issue not only for the Baltic states but also for the West, and our support for Ukraine's fight is a top priority in the short term."
The signs of war fatigue are becoming more visible in the West's posture, he added.
"However, war fatigue is a phenomenon characteristic of societies living in peace. If war fatigue were to overwhelm Ukraine, it would cease to exist. We have to fight this as the West has the structural power to give Ukraine the support it needs to win," Landsbergis said.
The presence of US and NATO forces in the Baltic sates is a key element of the Baltic region's security and defense, he said.
"We must work towards a permanent US military presence in the Baltic region. But alliances must be mutually beneficial. Therefore, we must be where the US has its eyes on. We need to strengthen cooperation with like-minded partners in the India-Pacific region," Lithuania's top diplomat said.
He also stressed the need to continue putting pressure on Russia through sanctions and to remain active shapers of the EU sanction policy.