Lithuanian president, foreign minister to attend World Economic Forum in Davos

  • 2023-01-16
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis are attending the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort of Davos this week.

Nauseda said on the eve of Monday's trip to Switzerland that he expected to meet with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg during the event into discuss accelerating the delivery of Western weapons to Ukraine.

"I am going to Davos tomorrow, and I hope to meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg," he told reporters in Klaipeda on Sunday.

According to its website, the World Economic Forum is an international organization for

public-private cooperation which "engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas".

The war in Ukraine and European security are high on the agenda of this year's meeting, in addition to climate change, economic globalization, energy sustainability and other issues.  

According to the organizers, Nauseda, together with Polish President Andrzej Duda and Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, are to take part in a discussion on the European security situation and directions following last year's Versailles summit where EU leaders committed themselves to taking more responsibility for the bloc's security in coordination with NATO.

Nauseda's office said on Monday that the Lithuanian president will discuss what steps Europe should take to bolster its collective security.

In Davos, Nauseda also plans to hold bilateral meetings with heads of state, leaders of international organizations, and representatives of potential investors in Lithuania.

Landsbergis is among the public speakers in Tuesday's session entitled "Thinking the Unthinkable: The Risk of Nuclear Confrontation". Lithuania's top diplomat will give the opening speech at a dinner for friends of Ukraine on Wednesday.

Landsbergis also plans to meet with top diplomats from various countries, with representatives of Google and Facebook, and with other business communities, in Davos, according to the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry. 

"Lithuania would normally only be represented by its presidents at this gathering of world political and business leaders," the ministry noted.

"The World Economic Forum's invitation to the minister highlights his contribution to rallying support for Ukraine, which has been fighting against Russia's barbaric aggression for almost a year now," it said. 

Nauseda will take part in the conference and meetings on Monday through Wednesday, and Landsbergis will do so through Thursday. Lithuanian Culture Minister Simonas Kairys is also is attending the Davos gathering after taking part in a meeting of culture ministers in Switzerland. 

The annual gathering of the world's business and political elite had been postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this year's meeting is marred by the war in Ukraine, and criticism from environmental activists who accuse its participants of "hypocrisy" over their use of private jets to travel to the event in the Swiss Alps.