VILNIUS – Lithuania will seek additional EU sanctions for Russia if the country’s aggressive stance does not change, President Gitanas Nauseda says.
“The deteriorating human rights and freedoms situation in Russia and its increasingly aggressive posture, such as the build-up of military force on the border with Ukraine, are not a positive signal, so Lithuania will seek additional EU sanctions against Russia if the situation does not change,” the president said on Wednesday.
He met with visiting Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation Arancha Gonzalez Laya and discussed regional security and economic cooperation, the presidential press service said.
The meeting also covered the security situation in the region and the newly emerging threats and challenges. The president thanked Spain for its contribution to strengthening security in the Baltic region and participating in NATO’s enhanced forward presence and Baltic Air Policing mission.
During the meeting, the president and the minister also discussed bilateral relations, cooperation within the EU and NATO, the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, and economic cooperation in high technologies and innovation.
Among the other issues addressed at the meeting were EU decisions on combating the pandemic and measures for economic recovery. The President called for close collaboration of all member states as they worked to eliminate disruptions in vaccine supply chains and expressed his support to the redistribution of unused vaccines among EU countries on a pro rata basis.
Nauseda spoke in favor of introducing a green certificate if it covered the identification of immunity against COVID-19 and was based on the EMA-authorized vaccines.
Ukraine said last week Russia was boosting its military presence near the bilateral border and in the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula. US forces in Europe are now on higher alert, citing “recent escalations of Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine”.
Meanwhile, Russia has expressed doubt whether NATO decision to provide a membership action plan for Ukraine could help the country to resolve its “internal problem”.