May 6, Lithuanian media round-up

On 6th of May Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with the former President of the European Parliament, Pat Cox. The Lithuanian head of state and the Irish politician, co-head of a European Parliament special mission in Ukraine, reviewed the results and prospects of the EU’s Eastern Partnership programme, talked about the situation in Ukraine and its implications for international security (Press Service of the President, BNS). Read more in Lithuania Tribune:

On  5-6th of May Vytautas Leškevičius, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, attended a session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Vienna. He encouraged the organization to oppose Russia’s political, economical and military aggression against Ukraine and finally to take strict actions implementing Geneva agreement. Vytautas Leškevičius said that ‘Russia’s occupation and illegal annexation of Crimea, continuous attempts to destabilize the situation in Eastern Ukraine, as well as regular threatening to Ukraine and other neighbors is an existential challenge not only to Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, but also to this organization and for all of Europe’s human rights, democracy and law.’ (Ministry of Foreign Affairs information, ELTA, )

On May 6th Vilija Aleknaitė-Abramikienė, vice-president of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, expressed his concern about Russian note regarding stopping to inform Lithuania about military units in Kaliningrad. She said that ‘Kremlin demonstrates that all international agreements and treaties is only a game for Russia and that Kremlin is determined to break into pieces all European security architecture, which was created after World War II.’ Vilija Aleknaitė-Abramikienė also thinks, that Lithuanian society and government institutions, including Ministry of National Defense, couldn’t stay calm any more. (Lithuanian Parliament Press Office, BNS, ELTA, unofficial translation)

On May 6th Rimantas Šadžius, Lithuanian Minister of Finance, said that ‘Russian-Ukrainian conflict will have a limited impact on the Lithuanian economy’ (BNS, 15, Lithuanian National Radio and Television). Read more in Lithuania Tribune:

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, in an interview to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper said that there is a threat that conflict in Ukraine will reach the point of no return and it becomes a start of war in Eastern Europe (, Read more in Lithuania Tribune:

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, in a press conference said that would be a pity if Russian President uses the celebration of the Victory Day to visit Crimea. (,

May 4-5, Lithuanian media round-up

On 5th of May Russia delivered a note to Lithuania announcing that agreement signed in 2001, to inform Lithuania about military units in Kaliningrad, is unilaterally stopped. (Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence Press Office, ELTA,,,,

UPDATE:  On 6th of May The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that ‘regrets Russia’s unilateral decision, which reduces transparency and confidence-building measures between the neighbouring countries, as well as breaks away from tradition of constructive cooperation of military inspectors.’

Jānis Bērziņš, Latvian defence analyst, recently published a report ‘Russia’s new generation warfare in Ukraine: implications for Latvian defence policy’ outlining Russia’s approach to ‘new-generation warfare’, based on analysis of material in the Russian military press (Lithuania Tribune). You can read this report here:

Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaitė, Lithuanian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on 2nd of May at the urgent United Nations Security Council meeting on the recent developments in Eastern Ukraine stressed that Lithuania condemns any attempts to destroy Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. (Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs information)

May 2, 2014 Lithuanian media round-up

On May the 1st STRATFOR reported that Lithuania and Poland are working together with Ukraine to establish trilateral partnership strengthening Ukrainian military’s Western orientation and building a closer alliance with Kiev. Read more in Lithuania Tribune:,

On May 1st International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that they would be forced to reconsider the size of emergency aid package for Ukraine if the country loses control of the Eastern Region (, You can read more in Reuters:

On May 2nd Marius Laurinavičius, analyst of Eastern Europe Studies Center, in an interview to journalist said that ‘according to his calculations there’re about 4000 active mutineers in Eastern Ukraine, from which about 300-400 are sent by Russia.’ ( You can also read a recently published analysis ‘What will determine Ukraine’s future scenarios?’ by Marius Laurinavičius and his colleagues here:

Vilija Aleknaitė-Abramikienė, vice-president of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, said that ‘Kremlin and Vladimir Putin itself has to take responsibility for arrested OSCE military observers in Eastern Ukraine’ (, Read more in Lithuania Tribune:

On May 2nd Andrius Kubilius, Leader of opposition of Lithuanian Parliament, on ‘Opposition’ radio programme emphasized the importance of ensuring energy independence in EU and clearly declaring the process of expanding the European Union if it wants to stop Russian aggression. (The News Radio)

On May 2nd Carl Bildt, Foreign Minister of Sweden, in his Twitter account said that ‘so far it is a clear assessment that Kiev’s government has been implementing April 17 Geneva agreement while Russia has not’. (

May 1, 2014 Lithuanian media round-up

On May 1st Andrius Kubilius, Leader of opposition of Lithuanian Parliament, participated in a solemn Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats Party Congress. He mentioned Ukrainian crisis in his congratulatory speech: ‘A terrorist war, which Putin started in Ukraine is a hopeless war of a dying colonial empire. It could be hard and tragic, but dying empire will lose it eventually. Ukraine is fighting a heroic battle today. The battle is not an easy one against Putin’s aggression and Great Russian chauvinism. But it is a war not only for Ukraine, it is a war for safe future of civilized world and civilized Europe, it is a war which opens eyes to civilized world and reveals what a barbaric aggression of Putin the world has to deal with. That’s why today we can say once more these simple words which all of us got to know so well during the past months: Slava Ukraine!’ (Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats Press Office,, unofficial translation)

On April 30, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a two-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for Ukraine. The country will get 17 billion dollars as emergency aid to prevent its economy’s collapse. (International Monetary Fund Press Office,,,

On June 9, 7 P.M. Ukrainian chamber choir “CANTEMUS” will perform in Kaunas Cathedral Basilica. Free entry. (Concert organizers info)

April 30, 2014 Lithuanian media round-up

Today Lithuanian Government has decided to strengthen Lithuania’s participation in implementation of European Union Eastern Partnership program. The main focus would be directed for Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in order to help these countries fulfil Association Agreement and reforms related with liberalization of visa regime. Lithuanian Government decided to send experts to institutions of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova to help these Eastern Partnership countries to adapt EU directives to national law and share Lithuania’s experience of integrating into European Union. (Lithuanian Prime Minister Press Office, BNS,, unofficial translation)

On April 30 Artūras Paulauskas, head of Lithuanian Parliament National Security and Defense Committee, at Cybersecurity Conference said that ‘when situation in Ukraine is so tense and when the nature and means of military actions is changing so fast, the threats of cyber security need to be taken very seriously’. Also Artūras Paulauskas said that ‘we can see today, that not only military but also diplomatic, propaganda and cyber tools are used to destabilize selected targets, create chaos inside the countries, undermining effortless flow of information and financial exchange operations.’ (Lithuanian Parliament Press Office, BNS,, unofficial translation).

On April 30, Petras Vaitiekūnas, Lithuanian Ambassador to Ukraine, on ‘Actual hour’ radio programme said that ‘Russia continues creating panic and destruction in East Ukraine’. (News radio,

On April 30 Arnoldas Pranckevičius, European Parliament President Adviser, on ‘Attention center’ the TV programme said this about Ukrainian conflict: ‘Today politics of EU goes in three directions: firstly – conflict de-escalation, secondly – Russia’s suppression and deterrence and third – support for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia’. Also he approved the preparation of using the next stage of economic sanctions if Russia doesn’t stop escalating the conflict. (Lithuanian National TV,, 15

Economist Nourieli Roubini in an interview for Bloomberg TV said that ‘there is the beginning of a new cold war between the West and Russia’ ( You can watch this interview here:

On May 4th in Vilnius will stage a bicycle event called ‘VeloMaidan’ dedicated to support Ukrainian people in the fight with Russian aggression. More information about event:

April 29, 2014 Lithuanian media round-up

On April 29 European Commission adopted a special support package for Ukraine worth 365 million euros. This package will help country’s transition and boost the role of civil society, promoting and monitoring democratic reforms and inclusive socio-economic development in Ukraine. Štefan Füle, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy, stated: ‘The EU is not only closely watching events in Ukraine and expressing its readiness to support it, but is also delivering in deeds. With today’s assistance package we are encouraging and supporting the Ukrainian authorities to continue with reforms and in the process of inclusive national development. This package will also support the European Agenda for Reform, recently discussed with the Ukrainian authorities.‘ (EU Press Release, Read more here:

Lithuanian Military Intelligence on April 29 published her Annual Performance Report. In the Report is said that ‘conventional warfare probability in the Baltic Sea region is still fairly low’ (BNS,, Read more in Lithuania Tribune:

Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius on April 29 met with United States Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss issues related with better coordination of sanctions and other pressure instruments achieving the de-escalation of Ukrainian crisis. (

The delegation of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry led by the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrius Krivas and representatives of Estonian and Latvian Foreign Ministries discussed the security situation in the region and relations with Ukraine and Russia on April 28 in Tallinn. The officials agreed to continue maintaining a strong position on non-recognition of the annexation of Crimea and seeking to reduce tensions in eastern Ukraine. Read more in Ministry of Foreign Affairs website:

The group of sports enthusiasts from Lithuania participated in international Kiev marathon on April 27. They ran various length distances thus expressing their support for united Ukraine. (Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Kiev information)

Andrius Kubilius’ speech ‘European future of Ukraine – a safe future for us’

Speech made by the leader of opposition of Lithuanian Parliament Andrius Kubilius during the press conference on April 2014 (unofficial translation)

Ukraine – in the spotlight

Ukraine stays in the spotlight, not only for us, but for the whole world as well. However, it is not Ukraine‘s fault.

The world faces a huge crisis, but it is not ‘Crisis of Ukraine’. The world faces a crisis, staged by the regime of Putin, phenomenon of aggressive Putinism, the development of ‘Putinist’ chauvinism in Russia. There is no ‘Crisis of Ukraine’, there is no ‘Ukrainian separatism’ – there is a new type of war, started by Putin, armed terrorism supported by Russia, Russia‘s special forces, not some joyful ‘little green men’.

Russia is attempting to fight an intensive informational war, seeking to establish several already familiar phrases in our minds: Crisis of Ukraine (meaning that Ukraine is the one doing something wrong, not Russia), ‘separatists’ (so that everybody speaks of a ‘peaceful’ attempt to separate from Ukraine allegedly held by Ukrainian Russian-speakers rather than Russian special forces and terrorism), ‘little green men’ (sounds like a phrase from animated movie – much gentler compared to ‘Spetsnaz forces’). We must respond to such imposed informational war by strongly expressing the responsibility of Russia for waging a terrorist war in foreign country – Ukraine.

I don‘t know what Putin‘s next moves to stop the election in Ukraine will be, however it is clear now that the regime in Russia isolates itself from the rest of civilized world. Vladimir Putin is driving himself into the trap of self-isolation. Consequences will first be felt throughout Russian economy, and afterwards will inevitably be catastrophic to the regime itself.

We have had several examples throughout the history, when such combination – authoritarian regime, promoting chauvinism of nation by its aggressive ways, in the end isolates itself from the civilized world and that leads directly to the collapse of such regime.

It is obvious, that Russia ruled by Putin has no civilized future, so the fact that Putin himself draws the collapse of it nearer, is no bad news for the future of Russia. At the same time it is not bad news for the civilized world, us among it, because civilized Russia is essential for both ours and Europe‘s security. And that was effectively demonstrated by the regime of Putin.

We have to be grateful for Ukrainian people and current Ukrainian Government, because while they are quietly suffering Russia’s aggression, they manage to remain stoic and civilized at the same time letting the world see the real face of Putin’s regime also increasing the prospect of civilized Russia.

Ukraine and the 10th anniversary of our EU membership

In the shadow of the events in Ukraine, this week will also be important as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our own EU membership. Historically speaking, the fact that we became members of EU and NATO – is a historical miracle, as important as the 11th of March. The importance of this miracle is emphasized by the current geopolitical threats. We can only imagine the way we would feel these days, watching the aggression of Putin‘s regime in Ukraine, if we weren’t members of EU and NATO, with the feeling of security this membership brings us. The soldiers of United States who arrived to Lithuania last week, is something that changes our feelings entirely, and we hope, Putin‘s as well.

The achievements we made over the ten years can be called miracle as well. Though we make mistakes, we still are a rapidly developing country, receiving as well as giving to the whole of Europe. We are the best proof that the decision to expand EU, that was made ten years ago, was wise and brought success for both us and the whole EU. We can celebrate that at that time both EU and US leaders had political courage and will to implement this huge vision.

In the year 2000, while being Lithuanian Prime Minister, I had a chance to contribute to the start of this vision’s realization. I remember well in June of that year, journey barefoot through the dunes of Nida (not burned at that time – editor note in 2006 there was a catastrophic fire in the dunes of Nida) with Gunther Verheugen, the EU Commissioner responsible for expansion at that time. Lithuania was considered lagging in the path of EU membership so we had to put lots of efforts while trying to prove we are capable to catch up. It is great that G. Verheugen, still not appreciated properly at the state level for the miracle he helped to achieve, understood us. As he recently said in one public event held in Berlin, Nida was a place where his ‘large expansion’ plan was born.

As I was informed, he recollected the year 2000 in Nida this way:
‘The idea that all 10 countries could become EU members at once, was born while I was walking in the dunes of Nida together with Lithuania’s Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius. He asked me then, what would happen if the lagging countries would catch up with leaders. Would there be enough political will to accept them together with the countries that were the first to start negotiations. At that point I, as a Commissioner for expansion, decided to seek more ambitious expansion plan’.

Today, in the light of big geopolitical challenges, Europe needs as courageous and visionary solutions. While we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our membership and celebrate it as the 10th anniversary of ours and the whole EU’s success, we must declare that further expansion of EU to the so-called Eastern neighborhood will be as successful. Successful both for Europe as well as for those countries. Maybe this type of expansion will require more time; however the fairest civilized EU response to Vladimir Putin’s barbaric aggression in Ukraine would be Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia memberships’ perspective in European Union.

On the 1st of May, on the occasion of 10th anniversary of membership in EU, The Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats party’s representatives will gather to a special assembly, dedicated for this celebration. It is an important celebration for us, since we consistently striven to turn Lithuania moving towards West rather than East. We are glad we were right and it is unambiguously proved so today, by Mr. Putin.

Our assembly will become an important event, bringing representatives of Center-right parties from countries, which in the same way we did, turned themselves off the empire. Also the ones that are working on it, trying to achieve the same European integration as we currently have. We are hoping for the large number of influential Ukrainian, Moldavian, Georgian, Belorussian guests as well as European People’s Party representatives from Brussels and the Heads of European Parliament.

Before the assembly we plan a particular conference to discuss current challenges brought by the aggressive politics of V. Putin’s regime and our response as the right-wing parties. This type of assembly in Vilnius is part of the consistent execution of active diplomatic efforts of our political party, regardless weather we are governing or in opposition. Our belief is that our diplomatic efforts are very important and significant and sometimes can rival the results of official Lithuanian diplomacy. Today government of Ukraine consists of parties and leaders we consider colleagues of our own political party. Using our diplomatic efforts we had several meetings with them, in Vilnius, as well as in Kiev and Brussels.

On the occasion of our assembly and conference we plan to establish the common informal collaboration network between center-right parties from the countries, which escaped the imperial grip as we had. Thus far this ‘Post-imperial Vilnius network’ will be called relatively nicely EGE – ‘Europe Goes East’.

It would be great if other Lithuanian European political parties, particularly left-wing parties, would follow our diplomatic effort as an example. Today we, Lithuanians, have to take on the responsibility the same way the old Europe’s left- and right-wing parties took after the 90s, when they started educating, training and teaching us about becoming a legal state with European democracy and Parliamentarism. Thanks to them, Lithuania’s post communist left-wing eventually became social democrats.

Now while we work with the right-wing of Ukraine, it is very important that someone would work as intensively with the left-wing, the former Regions party of Ukraine. Because they will win an election in Ukraine eventually, the same way as former communist party of Algirdas Brazauskas did in Lithuania in 1992. It is good that at that point they already had learned enough from Europe’s left-wing. That is why it is essential now, for left-wing of Lithuania, not only the conservatives, to take on the same responsibility to establish European type left-wing in Ukraine.

I congratulate all Lithuanian people and all parties of Lithuania with the 10th anniversary. However I strongly urge and invite all the parties especially social democrats not only to celebrate the labor day, but also to undertake this large European political work for the sake of Ukraine European future, which means safer future for all of us as well.

April 27-28, 2014 Lithuanian media round-up

Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius stressed the need for solidarity in solving Ukraine’s conflict at the Sedona Forum in the United States ( Read more in Ministry of Foreign Affairs website:

Today, the leader of opposition of Lithuanian Parliament Andrius Kubilius at press conference said that ‘the fairest civilized EU response to Vladimir Putin’s barbaric aggression in Ukraine would be Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia memberships’ perspective in European Union’. He also said: ‘We have to be grateful for Ukrainian people and current Ukrainian Government, because while they are quietly suffering Russia’s aggression, they manage to remain stoic and civilized at the same time letting the world see the real face of Putin’s regime’. (BNS)

Today, Deputy Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament, Gediminas Kirkilas during Holocaust Remembrance Day’s speech said that ‘the memory of Holocaust has to become the sole motive for us aiming for peace, democracy and security in all Europe and assuring that neither another World War or massacre will become a reality, especially today while prevailing international circumstances in Eastern Europe contribute to an up-rise of Right-wing extremism and Neonacizm’. (BNS,, Lithuanian Parliament Press Office, unofficial translation)

On April 27 in Vilnius Town Hall Lithuanian movement ‘For democracy.Ukraine’ received ‘The Life Prize’ for organizing Ukrainian support actions and protests against Russian aggression and their help organizing special medical mission to Maidan in Kiev. (

On April 27 Vilnius Conservatives in Vilnius Town Hall Square organized support action for Ukrainian freedom and integrity. Photos from the event, click on a link below:

April 26, 2014 Lithuanian media round-up

Lithuanian Parliamentarian Vytautas Landsbergis recently spoke at MyEP interactive conference about situation in Ukraine and Lithuania and Russia international relations. Read more in Lithuanian Tribune:

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė congratulated Group of 7 (G7) decision to intensify sanctions against Russia due to violations of Geneva agreement. (

Latvia’s Minister of Defence Raimonds Vejonis on April 25 spoke with journalists from Reuters about situation in Baltic States in the context of Ukraine crisis. Raimonds Vejonis said that ‘there‘s danger that Russia might try to destabilize the situation in Baltic States‘ (15 Read more in Reuters:

The Leader of the Crimean Tatars Mustafa Dzhemilev was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. (15

April 25, 2014 Lithuanian media round-up

On April 24th Head of the EU Delegation to Russia Vygaudas Ušackas spoke with journalists about situation in Ukraine after Geneva agreement (, Read more and watch the video on Voice of America:

Due to the Ukraine crisis aviation company ‘Wizz Air’ has decided to temporarily suspend flights Vilnius-Kiev starting from April 30. It is currently unknown how long the flights will stay suspended for. (15 min)

Delegation of 50 Ukrainian medics of various specializations came to National Hospital of Panevėžys in order to gain experience at organizing health-care and physician tasks in Lithuania. This knowledge will help them start health-care reformation in Ukraine. (