VILNIUS – Chinese investments would constitute no problem to the national security of Lithuania and facilitate the country's economic development, says Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis.
"No, there is no connection," Pranckietis told Ziniu Radijas news radio on Wednesday morning when asked whether Chinese investments would threaten Lithuania's national security.
The Lithuanian parliamentary speaker was in China last week and met with President Xi Jinping and discussed the One Belt One Road initiative with parliamentary speakers of other Baltic and Nordic states. The initiative aims to start closer ties with countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.
In Pranckietis' words, Chinese investments are crucial for Lithuania's economy, and all decisions regarding the investments would be made at the government.
The parliamentary speaker said the investments would be checked, just like the practice is with any other investment in Lithuania: "Of course, without doubt, everything would be thoroughly verified, as always."
Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius last week said Lithuania could benefit from Chinese investments, adding they should be evaluated from the economic and the national security point of view. Furthermore, strategic objects must be controlled by the state.
In mid-2017, top officials of the European Union (EU) authorized the European Commission to analyze the possibility of more thorough checks of investments from third countries, primarily China.