Lithuania’s Foreign Minister meets with the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament
On 25 January, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament David McAllister to discuss the results of the last week’s Foreign Affairs Council, the situation in the Middle East and Libya, the strengthening of the society’s resilience against fake knews, the Western Balkans, and Russia.
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister highlighted the role of the European Parliament in contributing to the strengthening of the society’s resilience against the intensifying spread of disinformation and propaganda.
“The European Commission has set up a high-level expert group to tackle the spread of fake news and online disinformation, the European External Action Service is developing StratCom Task Forces covering different regions, but we see that there is still so much more to be done,” said Linkevičius.
The interlocutors agreed that the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union would devote a lot of attention to issues related to the Western Balkans and the enlargement of the EU. Bulgaria will host an especially important EU-Western Balkans summit in May 2018 in Sofia after a 15 year break. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister said that the decision on the EU’s enlargement to the Western Balkans region should be based on the achievements of each of candidate country in meeting the conditions for membership.
As regards Russia, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister emphasized the need to continue to base the EU’s relationship with this country on the five agreed principles, while maintaining a common position on sanctions until full implementation of the Minsk agreements.
“There is no reason to speak about changes in the EU’s policy towards Russia,” said Linkevičius.
David McAllister is visiting Vilnius at the invitation of the Speaker of the Seimas. Today he leaves for Rukla, where he will visit the German troops deployed as part of the NATO enhanced forward presence battalion in Lithuania. Later, he will meet with the Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis in Vilnius.