VILNIUS – The Western world must do all it can to ensure that democracy wins, because the current period will define life for decades to come, Laima Liucija Andrikiene, chairwoman of Lithuania's parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, said on Thursday, as Vilnius is hosting a conference attended by guests from the US, Taiwan, Ukraine and other countries.
"The period we are living in is a time of a major historical tectonic turning point that will shape the lives of all of us – Taiwan, Lithuania, the US – for decades to come, so it is our duty as democrats to use this situation to make the future world better," Andrikiene told a news conference at the Seimas.
"We are talking about the struggle between democracies and autocracies, and we know very well which side of history we are on. We have to do everything we can to make sure that democracies win," she said.
Oleksandr Merezhko, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Policy and Interparliamentary Cooperation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, thanked Lithuania for its help and said that his country needed two things to win the war against Russia: solidarity and strength.
"The key word that unites us together, the key value which makes our joint efforts is, of course, freedom, because what we do in Ukraine now – we are fighting for freedom, we want to remain free and we want to be a part of the European community, European family," Merezhko told the news conference.
"We are fighting for survival and, of course, to win, to survive, we need your support, your solidarity," he said.
Hsiao Bi-khim, representative of Taiwan to the United States, said, "I'm here to express our gratitude for the people of Lithuania for their friendship and support for Taiwan at a very critical time for my county's survival."
"We are also here to express solidarity with the people of Ukraine, as people of Ukraine inspired us Taiwanese in their courage and commitment to defending their freedom and their democracy, their incredible determination strengthened our will to also defend democracy as we stand on the frontline for defending freedom not only for ourselves, but for our region as well," she said.
Pavel Fischer, chairman of the International Relations, Defense and Security Committee of the Czech Republic's Senate, said that Russia's ongoing aggression against Ukraine "is one of the core matters that will decide the peace of Europe for the generations to come, but peace is threatened not only in Europe."
"The Indo Pacific is a very important area where not only free trade is at stake. This is our own security, this is the reason we are pleased to have members of the parliament of Taiwan, partners who cherish the freedom with whom we can speak how to secure democracies worldwide," Fischer said.
"And I want to thank Lithuania for the leadership; we need to meet, we need to exchange, and we need to understand what is at stake," he added.
The Seimas is hosting on Thursday the Centenary Conference to mark the centenary of the diplomatic relations between Lithuania and the United States.
Lithuania, which declared independence in 1918, was granted de jure recognition by the US on July 28, 1922.