VILNIUS - Russia is attempting to further destabilize neighboring countries and has been continuing its "appalling" military action against Ukraine for five years now, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said before the United Nations in New York last night.
In his first address to the UN General Assembly, the Lithuanian president said that "determination to adhere to international law is often the last barrier separating our countries from unpredictable and therefore dangerous disorder".
"Unfortunately, in the world of many crises, Europe is not an exception anymore. The illegitimate use of force and serious violations or sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity have become part of Europe's every-day life," he said.
"Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, encouraged by the feeble international response to its 2008 aggression against Georgia, attempts to further destabilize countries in its near neighborhood. Russia's appalling military actions against Ukraine have been continuing for five years now."
According to Nauseda, "Lithuania strongly condemns this prolonged violation of international law and urges the aggressor to respect the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act and bilateral agreements with Ukraine".
The president reiterated Lithuania's continued support for Georgian and Ukrainian independence and said that his country "will never recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea, the occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia".
"Some political leaders are raising an idea to create a new geopolitical space from the Atlantic Ocean to Vladivostok, drawing Russia in. It may sound interesting, but do we have common ground for it? Do we have shared values? The answer is no!" Nauseda said.
"As a matter of principle, we should not endorse unions in which some states become subjects of history, and some others – merely objects," he said.
"As of today, Russia has done nothing to inspire our confidence. Could this yet change? Yes! We would be the first to congratulate this turn of events – a democratic Russia respecting international law and the sovereignty of other countries."