VILNIUS – Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, currently in Kazakhstan, has called for strengthening not only bilateral relations, but also EU-Kazakhstan cooperation, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
"Kazakhstan needs Europe and the European Union needs Kazakhstan to develop reliable energy, trade, resource supply, transit and logistics ties," the minister underlined.
He also expressed his support for Kazakhstan's ambition to diversify its energy and trade relations.
On Tuesday, Landsbergis met with his Kazakh counterpart Mukhtar Tileuberdi and said the ongoing geopolitical changes required new solutions, adding that one of them is to pursue closer mutually beneficial cooperation between the EU and Kazakhstan.
Landsbergis thanked Kazakhstan for its "firm stance in supporting the fundamental principles of international law" and expressed his gratitude for the protection of Lithuania's historical heritage sites in Kazakhstan after a monument to Lithuanian political prisoners was unveiled at the Spassk Memorial Complex in May.
Speaking about Kazakhstan's reform goals, Landsbergis said he saw considerable potential for closer cooperation between the two countries.
Referring to the further development of long-term business relations, Landsbergis called for further development of transport and logistics links, increased mutual investments, making use of the tourism sector's potential, and promoting student exchanges.
The Lithuanian foreign minister also paid tribute to the victims of totalitarianism by visiting and laying a wreath of flowers at the ALZHIR memorial complex, situated within the territory of a former prison camp.
During his official visit to Astana on December 5-7, the Lithuanian foreign minister has also met with Deputy Chairman of Kazakhstan's Senate Askar Shakirov and Aigul Kuspan, chair of the parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security.
On Wednesday, Landsbergis is scheduled to meet with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Astana is a historical ally of Moscow but close relations between Russia and Kazakhstan have become strained since Moscow launched its military campaign in Ukraine. Kazakhstan. A former Soviet republic, is trying to balance its relations with the West and Moscow.
After Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization in September, the Kazakh leader let in tens of thousands of Russians fleeing the call to fight in Ukraine.
In November Tokayev was re-elected for a second presidential term without facing any real opposition candidates.