Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský visits Lithuania

On 9-11 November, Czech diplomatic chief Jan Lipavský visited Lithuania to assess Czech-Lithuanian relations and current foreign policy challenges, from the Russian aggression against Ukraine to the terrorist attacks on Israeli territory, with his Lithuanian counterpart Gabrielius Landsbergis. Minister Lipavský discussed the same topics with the Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament Viktoria Čmilytė-Nielsen and spoke at the Future of Democracy conference in Vilnius. At the end of the trip, the Minister visited a contingent of Czech soldiers in Rukla.

The visit and the bilateral meeting with the Lithuanian side allowed even deeper coordination of the Czech and Lithuanian positions in many key areas of Czech foreign policy. “Relations between Czechia and Lithuania are based on common values – democracy, freedom and protection of human rights. In a Europe shaken by violations of international law, Lithuania is successfully fulfilling the difficult role of a border country on the eastern flank of NATO, also with the help of Czech troops,” the minister said.

The key topics of the ministerial talks included the further development of bilateral relations (tourism, direct air flights between the two countries, university cooperation, etc.), cooperation in the defence of NATO’s eastern flank, support for Ukraine’s resistance to Russian imperialism, and EU and NATO enlargement. Ministers Lipavský and Landsbergis also discussed the conflict in Israel and energy policy ahead of the coming winter. “I am glad that we agree with Lithuania on the enlargement of the European Union: accession talks should be opened with a country meeting the criteria, no matter where it is located in Europe,” the Czech diplomatic chief added.

Minister Lipavský also met with the Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament, Viktoria Čmilytė-Nielsen. With her and other MPs, he discussed Czech-Lithuanian relations and current geopolitical issues. “Diplomacy is not only done by ministers, but also by parliaments. It was a pleasure to meet the Speaker. We discussed in great detail our views on the current events in Central Europe and the Baltics,” the Minister said.

During his visit to Vilnius, Minister Lipavský also addressed a conference The Future of Democracy, a follow-up to the Summit for Democracy hosted by US President Joe Biden in the spring of this year. He opened the event with a keynote speech on the theme titled Defence against Authoritarianism. “Democracy, the rule of law and human rights are under attack. We must find ways to protect them,” the Minister said. The Minister visited the premises of the Lithuanian think tank Eastern Europe Studies Centre to discuss Russia and Ukraine with representatives of civil society.

At the end of his three-day visit, Minister Lipavský visited Czech soldiers stationed at the Rukla military base, who are serving in Lithuania as part of the NATO Eastern Wing Defence Force. Together with Minister Landsbergis, they presented a book by the prominent Lithuanian writer of Jewish origin, Grigorijus Kanovičius, now published in Czech under the title Romance z druhého břehu.

Source

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