Lithuanian formin calls on North Macedonia to back special tribunal for Russia

  • 2022-11-09
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis has called on North Macedonia to support the initiative of the Baltic countries on setting up a special tribunal to investigate Russia's crimes of aggression in Ukraine.

The Lithuanian diplomacy chief hailed Skopje’s foreign policy as exemplary and urged the country “to support the initiative for the creation of a Special Tribunal to prosecute crimes of Russia's aggression”, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said in a press release on Wednesday.

“While on the path to the EU, you are already implementing an exemplary values-based policy, which sets a good example for others. We greatly appreciate your strong position and thank you for providing important assistance to Ukraine. Although our countries are small, working hand in hand we can significantly help the Ukrainians in their struggle,” Landsbergis said after his meeting with Bujar Osmani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia.

The Lithuanian minister thanked North Macedonia for fully aligning with the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy decisions, imposing sanctions on Moscow, and its significant assistance to Ukraine, including military.

He also asked his North Macedonian counterpart to maintain a principled position on Russia's military aggression against Ukraine during the upcoming Chairman of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Following long talks with Bulgaria, North Macedonia started the opening phase of the accession negotiations with the European Union in July.

Previously, the government in Sofia blocked North Macedonia’s path to EU membership talks over the historical disputes between the two countries and a dispute concerning the rights of the ethnic Bulgarian minority.

Landsbergis called on North Macedonia to continue key reforms on its Euro-integration path and vowed strong support from Lithuania.

Foreign ministers also talked about the upcoming NATO Summit due to take place in Vilnius in 2023. North Macedonia joined NATO as its most recent member back in 2020.

In addition, the two ministers discussed the security situation in the Western Balkans, challenges in the energy sector, etc.