Ukraine must remain Lithuania's foreign policy priority – president

  • 2023-11-06
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Lithuania's diplomatic efforts should be directed towards pooling international support for Ukraine as the international community's attention turns to new conflicts breaking out around the world, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda told diplomats on Monday.

New conflicts breaking out in various parts of the world are diverting the international community's attention away from Russia's war in Ukraine and, more generally, from Russia's aggressive foreign policy intentions, Nauseda underlined.

"Ukraine has been and will continue to be of existential importance to us. And all diplomatic efforts must be focused on this priority. War fatigue cannot be allowed to set in, no matter what happens. We must continue to consistently mobilize comprehensive international support for Ukraine, raise the issues of Russia's responsibility for aggression and war crimes, and keep Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic perspective on the international agenda," the president said at his annual meeting with heads of diplomatic missions, representations to international organizations and consular establishments, held to discuss foreign policy issues, the regional and global geopolitical and security situation, and Lithuania's foreign policy goals and priorities.

Addressing the diplomats, Nauseda said that the international situation was rapidly deteriorating, the world was increasingly unstable, and there were more and more attempts to replace international law and diplomacy with brute force, according to the statement released by the presidential press service.

Recently, he said, the number of hotbeds of aggression and military conflicts has increased, and the element of surprise has come to dominate international processes. These trends pose even greater challenges for Lithuania and its diplomatic posture in the world, the president said, adding that the diplomatic service must be ready to act in this environment of geopolitical uncertainty.

In his speech, the Lithuanian president also stressed the importance of fostering transatlantic ties and effective functioning of NATO and the EU, and the necessity to act together with allies and partners to defend democratic values and the rules-based international order.

Nauseda thanked the country's diplomats who contributed to the successful organization of the NATO summit in Vilnius and said that it was now necessary to focus on the implementation of the important decisions made in Vilnius and to seriously prepare for the NATO summit in Washington.

The diplomatic service needs to be more focused, wiser and smarter than ever, the Lithuanian leader said.

As the military conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged at the weekend that the war in the Middle East was diverting the international community's attention away from the war in Ukraine, which, he said, is beneficial to Russia.