VILNIUS – Despite more than three months of the war of aggression waged by Russia against Ukraine, the West lacks a strategic commitment whether to strengthen Ukraine at the negotiating table or defeat Russia, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis has said.
In his view, the coalition of Western countries should make it its strategic goal to defeat Russia.
“But now, the thing is that if we set a goal that Russia has to be strategically defeated in that it would be forbidden to continue to wage the war in Ukraine, one, but, two, also would be unable to repeat attacking its neighbors in the future,” he said in an interview to The Foreign Policy magazine.
Russia was able to sustain sanctions and enormous losses on the battlefield, Landsbergis said adding that “if they will be able to sustain this long-term, then again, we are then in a very, very dangerous stage of geopolitical reality”.
“There is quite a high chance still that Russia will not face defeat. If Russia is not defeated, it’s just a delay of the next war,” he added.
Asked about the latest initiative at the Russian parliament aimed at withdrawing Russia’s recognition of Lithuania’s independence, Landsbergis described it as a direct threat to Lithuania.
“I would call this a threat, a direct threat to Lithuania, and we are taking all these threats seriously, even if the person [who made the proposal] is not known for political seriousness in Russian political circles,” the Lithuanian minister said.
“Nonetheless, Russia is a very dangerous neighbor, and that’s why we are taking everything that comes from Moscow very seriously,” he added.