L. Linkevičius: A united EU-US response to geopolitical threats is needed
On 15 June, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Baltic states and Poland took part in a video conference of the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers, and expressed their common position on the EU-U.S. cooperation, as well as stressed the importance of transatlantic relations in addressing international policy issues.
The United States is the most important economic and trade partner for many EU member states. In addition, the country contributes to the EU’s security and resilience in the energy sector. Foreign Affairs Ministers underlined that it was in the common interest of the EU and the U.S. to maintain a strategic dialogue and to coordinate actions in addressing key geopolitical issues.
“The U.S. and NATO are guarantors of security for Europe. Our cooperation is irreplaceable in addressing such challenges as Russia’s aggressive actions in the EU and NATO’s neighbourhood and in further regions, Syria or Libya, as well as China’s rise to power, terrorism, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, it is necessary to deepen the dialogue with the U.S. and to coordinate the EU-U.S. response to geopolitical threats,” said the Minister L. Linkevičius on behalf of the three Baltic states and Poland.
During the discussion with the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, L. Linkevičius, who spoke on behalf of the three Baltic states and Poland, stressed the importance of strengthening the EU-U.S. coordination and of engaging with eastern neighbours to counterbalance Russian influence.
“A consolidated EU-U.S. position on Ukraine, Georgia and other Eastern partners will allow keeping the international community’s pressure on Russia in response to its unacceptable actions. Only the EU-U.S. joint support for Ukraine and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic choice will bring the expected results,” said the Foreign Ministers of the Baltic states and Poland.
Support to the Eastern partners, especially to Ukraine, must not subside, stressing the need to keep the pace of reforms in Ukraine. The U.S.-EU joint initiatives that provide the Eastern partners with alternatives to Russian energy sources help increase their resilience to Russian pressure.
“Sanctions against Russia should continue until preconditions for their introduction have disappeared. We are concerned about high-level initiatives to normalize relations with Russia. This would only encourage the Kremlin to continue its aggressive policy. Thus, Russia should not be readmitted as a member of the G7,” said L. Linkevičius on behalf of the four Foreign Ministers.