VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, currently in Warsaw, says that Russia is once again building its military power, therefore, Europe cannot ignore such actions.
"Once again we see a growing military power in the East, which threatens our values and way of life. Our neighboring nations, aspiring to create democratic relations, continue to face brutal disregard for human rights and freedoms," the Lithuanian president said on Monday, addressing the Polish parliament.
"We have the duty to ensure that the historically close people of Ukraine and Belarus could enjoy the fruits of freedom, independence and democracy. In the past, they belonged to the common family of European nations – I believe this will continue to be the case!" he said.
"For the people of the region to be able to freely pursue their democratic aspirations, we will also need a clear vision for the EU Eastern Partnership. The lessons of the past teach that we must unite and join efforts in the face of an aggressive hostile force, without waiting for it to be too late," the Lithuanian president said.
Nauseda addressed the Polish parliament as Lithuania and Poland on Monday mark the 230th anniversary of the Constitution of 3 May and Mutual Pledge of the Commonwealth of the Two Nations.
According to the president, the buildup of Russian armed forces on the Ukrainian border and military actions carried out in eastern Ukraine by Russian troops and Moscow-backed illegal armed groups "demonstrate an effort to create and maintain military tension as a lever of political influence".
"Lithuania will never recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea and will seek to end the actual occupation of part of eastern Ukraine. Whatever happens, we cannot allow Ukraine to be cast back into the past again!" Nauseda said.
"It is no secret that Russia wants to take control of Belarus and crush the freedom aspirations of the brave Belarusian people. The unsafe nuclear power plant in Astravyets, which poses a threat to all the people of the region, also plays a significant role in this process," the Lithuanian leader said.
In his words, Lithuania will never agreed "that energy should become a geopolitical weapon for making Belarus a hostage to the Kremlin’s policy".
"Our own security and well-being depend on our ability to create a space of peace, democracy and prosperity in the neighborhood. Therefore, we cannot just stand and watch the times of the right of the strong returning. We cannot ignore attempts to redraw the borders of sovereign states," Nauseda said., adding that fostering and improving relations with Poland is one of Lithuania’s foreign policy priorities.