Lithuanian PM tells EU ambassadors: we must stand united in face of conflicts

  • 2023-10-25
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The European Union has repeatedly shown that it can act in a united and effective manner and it must continue to do so in the face of the current regional conflicts, Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte told the bloc's ambassadors on Wednesday.

The prime minister and the ambassadors discussed "foreign, European Union and key domestic policy issues, primarily focusing on the security situation in the neighborhood and in the world, support for Ukraine, and the European Union's migration and energy policies", the government's press office said in a press release.

"Simonyte underscored the pivotal role of the European Union in promoting global stability and unity," it said. "She emphasized the need for consolidation, political solidarity, and the unwavering support of all Member States for EU decisions."

"These elements not only build confidence but also enhance the EU's standing on the world stage."

The prime minister also "called for close dialogue with the United States and concerted efforts to achieve sustainable peace".

On energy, Simonyte noted that Lithuania's energy supply security had been ensured even before the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine. 

As tensions began to rise near its borders, Lithuanian took additional steps to ensure uninterrupted gas and electricity supplies, along with operational and technical measures to secure its infrastructure, she said.

Lithuania is closely monitoring the situation regarding a recent leak in the Balticconnector gas pipeline linking Finland and Estonia, according to the prime minister.  

"That said, we're staying calm. Lithuania's energy infrastructure is secure, and we're geared up for diverse contingencies," she said.

The Finish and Estonian natural gas system operators said on October 8 that they had detected an unusual pressure drop in Balticconnector, which led them to shut down the gas flow.

On October 10, Helsinki said that a telecom cable between Finland and Estonia, both NATO members, had also been damaged and that the leak in the gas pipeline had been likely caused by external activity.  

Finnish police said Tuesday they believed that the pipeline had been damaged by a Chinese container ship's dislodged anchor.

At the meeting with the EU's ambassadors, Simonyte underlined "the importance of sustaining unwavering support and providing essential resources" to Ukraine and called for "the swift provision of requested arms and the strengthening of Ukraine's air defense".

She also "reiterated the need to hold Russia accountable for its actions in Ukraine, and continued vigilance in the application of sanctions".

The prime minister "expressed her hope for a positive recommendation from the European Commission" on Ukraine and Moldova's EU accession negotiations. 

Simonyte drew attention to the protection of the EU's external borders and the strengthening of the effective fight against human smuggling and of partnerships with third countries. 

She also "highlighted the necessity of understanding the threat posed by Russia and responding with confidence, including by enhancing defense capabilities and investment in defense", according to the press release.