Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis: We call on our friends in Georgia to continue pursuing their ambitious goals
On 26 June, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis, together with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg and the Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu, held meetings with the Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili and the Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia David Zalkaliani in Tbilisi, and paid a visit to the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) with the Russia-occupied Tskhinvali region of Georgia / South Ossetia.
In the meetings, the Foreign Ministers highlighted the European Union's involvement in Georgia, voiced support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, the importance of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, and the further implementation of reforms. Particular emphasis was placed on the need for all Georgian political forces to abide by the agreement reached between the authorities and the opposition on 19 April. The agreement that was mediated by Charles Michel, President of the European Council, provides for ambitious electoral and judicial reforms. In addition, the Foreign Ministers of the three EU member states and their Georgian counterparts discussed the situation in the Russia-controlled regions of Georgia, the security situation in the South Caucasus, and preparations for the next Eastern Partnership summit scheduled for later this year.
"Georgia, which has signed an association agreement with the EU, is the bloc's closest partner in the South Caucasus. We call on our friends in Georgia to continue implementing the reforms that are important for the future of the people of this country, because this is the only way to achieve ambitious goals. We also see and appreciate the very important personal role of the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, in contributing to the restoration of confidence between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and we support Georgia‘s efforts in this direction.," said Lithuania's Foreign Minister during his visit to Tbilisi. Landsbergis also noted that Georgia's reform progress would be measured in the EU capitals in accordance of the letter and the spirit of the agreement of 19 June".
During the visit, the EU's ministerial delegation also visited the Administrative Boundary Line with the Russia-occupied Tskhinvali region of Georgia / South Ossetia, thus reaffirming the EU's support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia, and called on Russia to fully implement its commitments under the EU-mediated ceasefire agreement of 2008.
From 24 to 26 June, the Foreign Ministers of the three EU member states were visiting the South Caucasus region, as mandated by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell.
29 April 2021 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)
Dear representatives of the media, dear friends, – thank you for coming.
I’ve had very intensive few days in Tbilisi and I would like to thank the Georgian leadership, the oppositinion, NGOs for a very open and frank discussions during our meetings.
We, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania express serious concerns over the political situation developing in Georgia and urge all political forces to act with restraint, de-escalate the situation and seek constructive solution in the interest of Georgia and all its citizens. We stress the critical importance of the rule of law and political dialogue in order to resolve the current crisis.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania is concerned about the recent political situation in Georgia. Parliament's decision to waive the legal immunity of Nika Melia, the leader of the main opposition party, the United National Movement, and the possible arrest of the politician reduces the possibility of dialogue between the ruling party and the opposition, raising questions about selective justice and the rule of law in the country.
On 27 November, the Chancellor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Jovita Neliupšienė took part in an online meeting of Secretaries of State (Chancellors) of Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the European Union, which focused on the EU's top challenges in 2021. According to the Chancellor, the EU must maintain its focus on conflict resolution in the EU neighbourhood when recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 5 November, Lithuania officially submitted its application to host the European Commission to host the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre (ECCC) in Vilnius. Lithuania is ready to provide a strategic and symbolic location for the ECCC – the premises of Vilnius TV Tower with an exceptional information technology (IT) communication infrastructure. According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius, Lithuania’s growing and active cyber and IT ecosystem would significantly contribute to a comprehensive and autonomous European Cybersecurity Competence Network.