VILNIUS – We all are Ukrainians today, Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen says amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
As Lithuania marked its 32nd independence restoration anniversary last Friday, Cmilyte-Nielsen said it's clear in the face of this threat mow much Lithuania has achieved over the past three decades.
"Aggression, like a deadly contagion, is strangling a free people, a free country. That is why today we are all Ukrainians. Because the blood of freedom runs through all of our veins," she said, on Friday, addressing lawmakers.
"In the face of an aggressive imperial relapse, it is good to see how far we have come and how much we have achieved in a historically short period of time," she said.
This year's Independence Day is different from the previous ones as the pandemic was not over yet when a war broke out, she said.
"As I speak, blood is being shed in Ukraine - from Kharkiv to Mariupol, from Korosten to Guliay Pole. The front is moving towards Odessa, a city famous for its iconic sense of freedom. It is creeping towards the legendary Poltava where my ancestral roots lie. It is pushing towards the capital, Kyiv, whose defenders are currently building fortifications, storing ammunition and setting up hospitals," Cmilyte-Nielsen said.
In her words, Lithuania is safer than ever today.
"This is a great value, the true meaning of which is even more evident now in the face of aggression in Ukraine. That is why we feel fully committed to those who, for various reasons, are less fortunate than us," she said.
"We must share our success story which shows that effective security of an individual country is only possible in an international security system based on the spread of freedom and democracy, the supremacy of international law, and the protection of human rights and freedoms," the speaker added.