VILNIUS – The Midsummer Snow Meeting – a traditional event hosted by the Foreign Ministry that brings together foreign and security policy experts – kicks off in Lithuania on Thursday.
The agenda of the two-day meeting focuses in particular on the strengthening of resilience of the Euro-Atlantic space and the prospects for democracy in Belarus.
Participants would share insights on how to enhance the resilience of Western democracies in the face of the rising threats from aggressive autocratic regimes, how to help civil society in Belarus, and to strengthen their ability to influence the Belarusian regime, the ministry said in a press release.
The international meeting has been traditionally held in the second week of January every year since 2008. This year, however, the meeting was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s event is exceptional in that it takes place in summer – and has therefore been named the “Midsummer Snow Meeting” – and will be held virtually for the first time.
“Autocratic regimes are neither perpetual nor inviolable. They are constantly resorting to new repression in order to maintain power. A strong transatlantic relationship and cooperation between the like-minded partners are crucial to addressing the challenges posed by systemic competition, and help us maintain trust among our citizens in the effectiveness of democracy,” the press release quoted Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis as saying.
The 14th Snow Meeting will also be attended by the foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia, and Poland. In total, more than 100 participants have registered, including high-ranking diplomats, representatives of NATO, the EU and other organizations, parliamentarians, and security policy experts.