Source: Republic of Lithuania
On 22 October in Vilnius, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the Slovenian Foreign Minister Anže Logar, who was paying a working visit to Lithuania after a trip to Estonia and Latvia.
The Foreign Ministers discussed bilateral cooperation, the situation in the Eastern Neighbourhood, the Western Balkans, the EU enlargement, regional security and cooperation within NATO, the Three Seas Initiative, and key items on the EU agenda.Linkevičius called on the Slovenian Foreign Minister to expand bilateral economic and trade cooperation, paying particular attention to Lithuania’s potential in the fields of information, financial, bio, cybersecurity, and other high technology.Linkevičius briefed the Slovenian Foreign Minister Logar on Lithuania’s aspiration to establish a European Cybersecurity Competence Centre (ECCC) in Vilnius, which would significantly contribute to the efforts to create a comprehensive and autonomous European Cybersecurity Competence Network.
When discussing the situation in the Eastern Neighbourhood, the Lithuanian Foreign Minister stressed that the Eastern Partnership must remain a geopolitical instrument for the EU and maintain its strategic priority. It is necessary to maintain our focus on the Eastern Partnership countries and help them implement all the necessary reforms.As regards the situation in the Western Balkans and prospects of integration of the countries of this region into the EU, Linkevičius highlighted the importance of holding the first intergovernmental conferences with Albania and North Macedonia already this year, with a view to the earliest possible de facto opening of accession negotiations with the EU.The Foreign Ministers also exchanged their views on and insights into the situation in Belarus. Linkevičius reaffirmed Lithuania’s support to the people of Belarus, who were peacefully seeking change in the country, as well as a free and fair democratic election. Lithuania speaks up for expanding the EU’s targeted sanctions against the Belarusian regime. According to Linkevičius, a long-term vision for the EU’s future policy towards Belarus must be developed. The EU must be ready to offer Belarusians concrete assistance, if they choose the path of democratic development.During his visit to Lithuania, the Slovenian Foreign Minister also met with the representative of the Belarusian opposition SvetlanaTsikhanouskaya. Slovenia’s Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel visited Lithuania for the last time on 11 May 2008.