Lithuania not going to back down on fundamental issues over EU-Russia talks – Lithuanian ForMin

May 14, 2008 at 12:46 pm Leave a comment

The BNS reported that, as Lithuanian diplomats spoke up about attempts launched by some countries to revise agreements reached by four foreign ministers in Vilnius over the negotiations mandate on the European Union (EU) – Russia Strategic Partnership Agreement, Foreign Minister Vaitiekunas repeated that Lithuania is not going to back down on fundamental issues.

Lithuania blocked the commencement of talks with Russia, proposing to include four declarations in the negotiations mandate, i.e. the issue of cut-off oil supply via the Druzhba pipeline, the necessity to deal with frozen conflicts in Georgia and Moldova, cooperation in solving occurrences of Jan. 13th and the Medininkai massacre as well as support for exiled persons, who are returning to the Baltic States.

Foreign ministers of Lithuania, Sweden, Poland and current EU presidency holder Slovenia, decided in a meeting in Vilnius on May 11 to include issues brought up by Lithuania to be included in talks with Russia, however this agreement was not endorsed by ambassadors of EU member states in a meeting Tuesday. Ambassadors plan to continue discussions next week.

A Lithuanian diplomat announced this information to BNS May 14 that;”We eliminate such attempts. If they will continue, the mandate might not be approved by May 26 (GAERC)”.

Following a meeting with Lithuanian President Adamkus on 14 May, Vaitiekunas told the press of having informed the Head-of-State of receiving a few proposals by various countries with regards to the negotiations mandate, and they are currently being considered.

“A wide arsenal of different versions of what shape our answers might take is available, and they are currently being coordinated through diplomatic channels, however, when it comes to the main, primary, fundamental issues of Lithuania’s interests, we are not going to back down. (…) We are risking European solidarity”, the foreign minister asserted.

According to the BNS he also noted that the new proposals are most concerned with the issue of frozen conflicts and added that he can reveal neither who is making the proposals, nor what matter they concern.

“In general terms, I am telling you that yes, the main question under revision, is that of frozen conflicts, a declaration on frozen conflicts. Countries stand on different grounds when it comes to geographical and geopolitical positions. Take the United Kingdom, Spain, France – their interests are different and we are simply defending our interests by assuming this position here and now. The EU will have to go a long way in order to learn how to reflect interests unanimously and speak with one voice”, Vaitiekunas explained, noting that an acceptable compromise will be sought out on the issue.

The BNS writes that the minister also noted that he cannot yet reveal what form Lithuania’s demands should take on in the mandate, and in what phrasing should it appear. The minister said that this would mean having to reveal stances on the negotiations mandate and would therefore make them less efficient.

Source BNS

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Entry filed under: Baltic States, Energy, EU, France, Georgia, Great Britain, Lithuania, Northern Europe, Poland, Politics, Russia, Sweden.

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