VILNIUS – Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday to discuss support for war-ravaged Ukraine and the need to continue to pressure Moscow with EU sanctions.
At the meeting in the Swiss city of Lugano, the two officials also discussed the next steps after granting EU candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova and the prospects for candidate status for Georgia, the Lithuanian government said in a press release.
They also discussed the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) and the bolstering of the EU's energy security.
"The need not to succumb to Russian blackmail and pressure was discussed during the meeting," the government said.
"The prime minister pointed out that Russia's hybrid attacks will continue, but we are ready to stand united in the face of them," it said.
Simonyte thanked von der Leyen for the Commission's proposal to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, and underlined the need for concrete measures to help the countries to implement the recommendations made to them.
"Lithuania is ready to step up its expert and technical support to Euro-integration reforms in Ukraine and Moldova, and the European Commission's detailed assessments of the areas where assistance is most needed will be helpful in better planning," she said in the press release.
Simonyte invited the EU's executive body to continue its policy of pressure on Moscow and to take the lead in shaping further EU sanctions against Russia, "not forgetting the Alexander Lukashenko regime's criminal actions both against the Belarusian people and in involving Belarus in the war against Ukraine".
The West imposed a string of sanctions against Russia and Minsk, seen as Moscow's satellite state, after the Kremlin launched its war against Ukraine in late February.
Almost two weeks ago, EU leaders agreed to grant candidate status to Ukraine.