Lithuania's ties with Ukraine grow increasingly sincere, close – Nauseda

  • 2024-01-11
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuania's ties with Ukraine are growing increasingly sincere and close, President Gitanas Nauseda said as he hosted his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky who arrived in Vilnius on Wednesday on an unannounced visit.

"Lithuania's relationship with Ukraine is growing increasingly sensitive, sincere and close," Nauseda said as the two leaders addressed the people of Lithuania in the square in front of the Presidential Palace.

"Our people know what it is like to be the target of Russian aggression, so they choose to act in the face of great injustice," he said. 

According to Nauseda, Zelensky is visiting Vilnius "as the leader of a country that fights and does not give up" and he "carries a message about Ukraine, hardened by the flames of war, which will never surrender its independence, its people and its dignity".

"Dear Volodymyr, thank you for what you are doing. Thank you for being!" the president told his Ukrainian counterpart.  

According to Nauseda, Lithuania "upholds Ukraine's peace formula" and "strongly emphasizes that Ukrainians must emerge victorious in this fight because the security of the whole world depends on it".

In his speech, the president said that Lithuania is among the most active supporters of Ukraine, and not only as a state, as its people also organize, collect and deliver aid, and regularly donate money. 

Lithuanians "demand more support for Ukraine and its people, both from themselves and from others," he said.

The president said that Lithuania wants to see Ukraine "as an integral part of the common Western security space".

"We want to see Ukraine in the European Union – and we will share everything we can in its reform and membership process," Nauseda said.

"Today's testimony of unity between Lithuania and Ukraine is precisely what our old deceitful enemy does not want to see. Through our example, we reject Russia's imperial ambitions and do not allow them to be realized," the president said. 

"For almost two years now, the flags of Lithuania and Ukraine stand side by side in this square. Together, they await the fulfillment of a great dream. They await Ukraine's victory in arms to end once and for all the period of predator rampage in Europe," he said.

Nauseda concluded his speech by thanking "all the defenders of Ukraine" and Zelensky. 

The Ukrainian leader's tour of the three Baltic countries comes as the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion approaches.