VILNIUS – Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen, speaker of the Lithuanian parliament, called on France to take a leading role in efforts to support Ukraine as she met with Yael Braun-Pivet, president of the French National Assembly, in Paris on Monday.
"We discussed our joint efforts to achieve a free and democratic Europe at a critical time when many of the things that France stands for – European values, freedom and democracy – are under attack," Cmilyte-Nielsen said in a press release.
"We expect France's leadership in providing further assistance to Ukraine, in strengthening the security of the Baltic states, and in helping Ukraine to integrate into the European Union and NATO," she said.
The parliamentary speakers also discussed efforts to ramp up Europe's energy security by weaning itself off Russian energy resources, according to the press release.
"I told the French parliamentary speaker that as Ukraine is going through difficult times due to the onset of winter and the destruction of energy infrastructure by Russia, it is more important than ever to show solidarity with Ukraine and to continue to provide support," Cmilyte-Nielsen said.
"However, European solidarity is equally needed to tackle Europe's energy challenges, first and foremost, by freeing itself from energy dependence on Russia," she added.
The speaker of the Seimas also asked for support for the Lithuanian Culture Season in France planned for the autumn of 2024.
The program of Cmilyte-Nielsen's visit to France also includes a meeting with Gerard Larcher, president of the French Senate, and an event hosted by the Lithuanian embassy in Paris to mark the centenary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
On Tuesday, the speaker of the Lithuanian parliament will address a conference on assistance to Ukraine, which will also be attended by French President Emmanuel Macron, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and other high-ranking officials.