A new view to the Lithuania-Russia relations

January 12, 2009 at 10:52 pm 2 comments

The new appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs the carrier diplomat Mr. Vygaudas Ušackas (former ambassador to the US and the UK) gave an interview to the Lietuvos Žinios daily on Jan 10.  Mr Ušackas is known to hold a real politik with Russia view.

Relations with Russia must be developed based on principles of value, said Foreign Minister Vygaudas Ušackas, noting the Russian Federation to be an important and complex neighbour.šackas said that “We speak out in favour of pragmatic relations with Russia. We are also for observation of democratic, honest and just values”.

Ušackas said: “We live in a global society and are interconnected with various ties. I do not think we can stop any one or another type of influence from being exerted. We must be strong with our morale and values. We must warrant that faulty, corrupt practice of making economic trade deals so as to exert influence on political life to be put to a stop. I will put all efforts in view of preventing Russia from using economic ties in order to make a political impact on Lithuania”.šackas pointed out the importance of education. We will hear more of this.  It sounds that Lithuania’s foreign policy is on the course of revision.

The Russia Containment Strategy put together by the ruling Conservatives speaks of “Russia’s cultural, political and economic arrest”.

As the BNS noted Ušackas also pointed that strategy to be one, but real life something quite other:  “On the other hand, I believe we should change our defensive position with regards to Russia. We should keep in mind that we hold an equal weight politically. We must make use of our equality by expressing our concerns via the European Union (EU) and NATO. We should also enliven our cultural and economic policy on Russia, namely rally like-minded people in Russia, who follow similar values. I think stopping (Russia) is important, but our policy within Russia itself – working together with the EU and the US – is much more important. I will underline the latter task on my agenda. It would be more constructive positive and exert more influence for Russia to change”.


Entry filed under: Baltic States, Economics, Energy, EU, Lithuania, Northern Europe, Politics, Russia.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Vilniaus Meras  |  January 13, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Interesting – haven’t even thought that there are wise men in Lithuania.

  • 2. Vidas  |  January 15, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Usackas is a fine diplomat and certainly qualified to represent URM and Lithuania. His CV can create some perceptions in the region that may consider his point of view largely formed during his Ambassadorships in the US and UK. His name is tossed about as a possible future candidate for President – that can be good or bad depending upon the situation.

    I expect that his years in Washington DC and London allowed Usackas to build relationships with other diplomats – which should serve him particularly well. Previous Lithuanian FM’s lacked those contacts and ended up being the voice of Lithuanian foreign policy as opposed to a FM who works regionally and internationally to help form and “normalize” Lithuanian foreign policy.


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