VILNIUS – Concessions to Russia will only increase tensions in the region and provoke more aggression from Moscow, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Friday.
Landsbergis and his EU counterparts discussed the regional security situation in Brest on Thursday, amid concerns that Russia, which has amassed up to 100,000 troops near Ukraine's border, may invade its neighbor.
"Due to Russia's aggressive policy, the situation in Eastern Europe remains extremely tense: Russia further amasses its troops near the border with Ukraine, the military conflict in eastern Ukraine continues. The country continues to violate international law, lays out new demands for the Euro-Atlantic community regarding the supposed threat to Russia's security, while security threats originate primarily from Russia," Landsbergis said in a press release.
"We have to finally learn the lessons of history that conceding to aggressive politicians may only increase tensions and lead to more aggression," he added.
Landsbergis also noted that it is "equally important to deepen the EU-NATO cooperation in order to ensure an effective deterrence policy, strengthening NATO's eastern flank and helping to boost the resilience of eastern neighbors and their societies to external threats", according to the press release.
The minister said that no decisions on the security situation in Ukraine should be taken without Kyiv.
"The people of Ukraine won the battle for the European path back in 2014. They paid and are still paying a high price for their European choice. Thus, we can't slam the door on them," he said.
The EU must not only ramp up security and defense cooperation and dialogue with Ukraine, but it must also "be ready to take strong political and economic measures, including individual sanctions, should Russia decide to move to military action", according to the press release.