VILNIUS – Lithuania values the economic partnership with Belarus, however, cannot ignore the problems the country is faced with, says Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius.
He spoke in response to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry's decision to summon Lithuania's Ambassador Andrius Pulokas to explain for what it said were the offensive words by President Dalia Grybauskaite.
"We always recall that it is our neighbor, that we have trade and we communicate with the neighbor, and partnership is very important in this respect. However, there are aspects that require comments. We cannot disregard this," Linkevicius told BNS on Wednesday morning.
"As far as I know, the president stated her stance on the recent military exercise in Russia, which include Belarus and use its territory for stationing of large capabilities," said the minister, emphasizing Minsk's "unwillingness to talk about" the nuclear power plant under construction in Astravyets close to the Lithuanian border.
On Monday evening, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said it had summoned the Lithuanian ambassador to explain "over the accusations heard from the head-of-state of Lithuania about Belarus constituting a threat to the Baltic states and Poland."
"There was an emphasis that the president's lexis, such as 'aggressive games', was offensive for Belarus that pursues peaceful policies and makes a real and universally recognized contribution to regional security," reads the communique from the Belarusian Ministry.
Before leaving for Estonia on a state visit, Grybauskaite told the national radio LRT that the Baltic states and Poland shared a common threat from Russia and Belarus.
"Of course, the militarization we see in Kaliningrad and the use of the Belarusian territory for various experimental and aggressive games aimed against the West," the president said in an interview broadcast on Monday.