VILNIUS – Parliamentarians from the three Baltic states and Poland have called on NATO to stay united in the face of the growing Russian threat and not to give in to its threats.
On the initiative of the chairpersons of the Lithuanian parliamentary Committees on National Security and Defense and on Foreign Affairs, the Baltic and Polish MPs have sent a letter to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Parliamentary Assembly President Gerald E. Connolly, and NATO member countries' parliamentary committees on foreign and security policies.
In their letter, the chairpersons of the Baltic and Polish parliamentary committees say that Russia's demands to the Alliance contradict the right of self-determination of states and go against NATO's open door policy.
"Ukraine, Georgia and other states have the right to choose their own security course and neither Russia nor any other third country has a say in the admission of new members to NATO," said Laima Liucija Andrikiene, chairwoman of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs.
"Russia's demands are nothing less than an attempt to return to the days when Europe was divided into spheres of influence between the major powers," she added.
The letter underlines that the security of NATO members is indivisible and that the defense of the Baltic states and Poland cannot be linked to Russia's actions on the Ukrainian border.
In December, Russia demanded that NATO provide legally binding guarantees that the Alliance will not offer membership to Ukraine or any other former Soviet republic and will not deploy its forces and weapons there.