Europe's response to Russia's attack depends on Berlin's leadership – Lithuanian speaker

  • 2022-04-26
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Europe's response to Russia's war against Ukraine will depend on German leadership, Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen said after her Tuesday meeting with President of the German Bundestag Barbel Bas in Berlin.

"Lithuania highly appreciates Germany's contribution to our security and its leadership of NATO's Forward Presence forces. However, I stressed at the meeting that Europe's joint response to the attack will depend heavily on Berlin's leadership in protecting Europe's security architecture based on international law," Cmilyte-Nielsenas was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Seimas press service.

Two lines of defense must now be taken care of, the speaker said, pointing out to the "hot" one, which runs through Ukraine, and the "cold" one, which runs along the EU and NATO borders. To prevent the "cold" line from turning into a "hot" one, Ukraine must win and countries must further strengthen NATO's defense capabilities, Cmilyte-Nielsen said.

"I told the German parliament president that in Madrid we expect ambitious decisions on military response options significantly strengthening deterrence and air, land and sea defense of the eastern flank. At the same time, I asked Germany to make important decisions to urgently provide military support to Ukraine," the Seimas speaker said.

The meetings in Germany also focused on a sixth package of sanctions for Russia, which would include oil and, as soon as possible, gas.

Cmilyte-Nielsen also once again reiterated that Europe must stop paying for the war in Ukraine.

Germany has already announced that it will stop importing oil from Russia by the end of the year, and will gradually phase out gas, Cmilyte-Nielsen pointed out.

She believes that other EU member states could also draw up specific timetables for giving up Russian energy resources.

During her visit, Cmilyte-Nielsen also met with Annett Witte, CEO of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, its board chairman Karl-Heinz Paqué, Alexander Count Lambsdorff, chairman of the German-Baltic Parliamentary Friendship Group in the Bundestag, and other members of the group. Also, a meeting with members of the Lithuanian community in Germany was organized.

During her visit, Cmilyte-Nielsen is also scheduled to meet with the leadership of the Free Democratic Party group and give a welcome speech at the group's meeting.