Nauseda vows support in war against Russia, on EU membership during call with Zelensky

  • 2022-06-21
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda had a phone conversation with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday and pledged Lithuania's continuous support for Kyiv in its ongoing war with Russia, as well as the country's backing in Ukraine's bid to become a candidate for EU membership.

During their conversation, Nauseda and Zelensky discussed the course of Russia's war in Ukraine, the need for military support and Ukraine's bid for EU candidate status, the Lithuanian presidential press service said.

The Lithuanian leader also stressed that Lithuania would continue to support Ukraine as much as possible and would urge its Western partners "not to succumb to war fatigue and to continue to actively support the people of Ukraine in their fight for the freedom and the sovereignty of their country".

Moreover, Nauseda voiced the support of the Lithuanian people to the Ukrainians and wished them strength, stressing that Lithuania will stand together with Ukraine until victory, the statement reads.

"Lithuania and all our people stand with you and we will stand together until victory. We feel your pain and respect your commitment to the fight for freedom. We will do everything we can to ensure that Ukraine gets the help it needs to win this war. The future of a free Ukraine lies in Europe. I believe nobody has doubt about that," the Lithuanian leader said.

Nauseda also underlined Lithuania's strong support for Ukraine's aspiration to join the EU, and he assured Zelensky that he would make every political effort to start the process as soon as possible.

The Lithuanian leader said the forthcoming European Council meeting in Brussels later this week, held to decide on whether to grant Ukraine EU candidate status, is "a historic opportunity for Europe to make it clear that Ukraine's future lies in the EU".

The European Commission's recent recommendation to grant Ukraine candidate status laid a positive foundation for the European Council debate in Brussels, Nauseda pointed out.

The two presidents also discussed possible export routes for Ukrainian grain via EU territory and ports, the presidential press service said.

Zelensky thanked Lithuania's First Lady Nausediene and the people of Lithuania for their initiative in opening a Ukrainian center in Vilnius, stressing that this was an important sign of support for the Ukrainians.