VILNIUS – Europe must be united and active, says Manfred Weber, chair of the European People's Party group in the European Parliament, who paid a solidarity visit to Lithuania on Wednesday.
"It's great to be in Vilnius here today. As the EPP group to be here in Vilnius is for us a signal of solidarity, of being together, of showing unity in this moment of history. We want to underline that what happened in the last day from Moscow's point of view is breaching fundamental principles of international law, Weber told a press conference at the Lithuanian parliament on Wednesday morning, adding that Europe, like never before, "has to be united, has to stay together, has to be active".
He also welcomed the EU decision on sanctions for Russia.
Delegated by the conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, which is part of the EPP European family, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte says the whole political community is focused on the same current affairs.
WEBER: NORD STREAM 2 WAS A MISTAKE
Speaking later on at a press conference of EPP representatives, Weber said it was important to show the real reasons for Putin's actions, adding that's not NATO alleged threat to Russia's security, but a fear of democracy.
"It is not the threat of NATO, the security threat to Russia, but the reason behind the biggest threat for Putin is a democratic Ukraine. He is afraid of ideas behind, he is afraid of our way of living and there is a threat for him," Weber said.
"I'm absolutely happy that yesterday the German government understood that Nord Stream 2 will not be continued. It was so urgently needed, as the EPP group we asked for this for years already, now it is done, it's a major step of credibility of the Western world and bringing back to credibility of Germany as a leading country of Europe," the politician said.
He also said that the Nord Stream 2 projects was "one of the biggest mistakes of the German government".
Petter Orpo, chair of Finland's National Coalition Party, said the Nordic and Baltic countries, each have their own experience of fighting Russia's aggression.
"We have our own experience in history how to deal with Russia and its aggression. And we know that we have to be strong and united, we can't leave any country alone," he said.
MEP: WESTERN UNITY IS PUTIN'S BIGGEST FAILURE
Lithuanian MEP Rasa Jukneviciene underlined that the Western world has the same view of the situation and this unity is Putin's biggest failure.
"Today, like never before, we have the same view of the situation, we have the same attitude, and I think it's the biggest victory and Putin's biggest failure. His policy will fail some day, I hope, we will see a different Russia in our lives, and that's why it’s worth for us to be united," she said.
Latvian right-wing lawmakers Arvils Aseradens also stressed the importance of Western unity, saying that "Russia has created a new way of unity in the Western world".
Meanwhile, Riina Solman, a right-wing lawmaker from Estonia, said leaving diplomats in Kyvi is a way for Western countries to show solidarity with Ukraine.
On Tuesday, the EU agreed on a sanction package for Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision on Monday to recognize the two self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk and ordering Russian troops into the separatist-held regions.