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Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis: It seems the belief that the crisis will resolve on its own has vanished

Created: 2021.11.14 / Updated: 2021.11.14 17:17

On 15 November in Brussels, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis will attend the Foreign Affairs Council to take stock of the situation on the EU-Belarus border, the recent developments in the Western Balkans, followed by a debrief on the situation in the Sahel.

As the Belarusian regime masses migrants along the EU's eastern borders, foreign affairs ministers will discuss the EU response to this, including the application of broader sanctions, the need to strengthen cooperation with third countries, and the human rights situation in Belarus.

“It seems the belief that the crisis caused by Lukashenko will resolve on its own has vanished in the European Union. Since the summer we have requested to impose stricter sanctions on airlines and airports, to ban the flights, and to repatriate the refugees. Europe is apparently awakening, and we are beginning to see the reality in a similar way.

Daily flights to Minsk National Airport carry new people who will probably end up amidst Belarusian forests in the cold. Requesting Russia’s help or negotiating with Lukashenko is a predictable path to disaster. This will show them that Europe is actually weak and cannot find a solution for the problem. We must, and we certainly can find a solution and stop the flights by applying sanctions and political instruments. All flights to Minsk National Airport should be cancelled. Together with other international organisations — the United Nations, the OSCE — we have to ensure the repatriation of the migrants stranded in the territory of Belarus. This is the only way to go," said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister before leaving for Brussels.

Foreign affairs ministers will also exchange views on the EU’s relations with the Western Balkans following the EU-Western Balkans summit in Brdo pri Kranju on 6 October, the heightened tensions between Kosovo and Serbia, the developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EU's increased engagement with the region to ensure conflict de-escalation and a successful continuation of reforms.

In Brussels, EU foreign affairs ministers will also meet with their counterparts from the Eastern Partnership countries to discuss
preparations for the Eastern Partnership Summit to be held on 15 December and future cooperation with Eastern partners.
In a joint session on 15 November, foreign affairs and defence ministers will discuss the EU Strategic Compass, which is due to provide clear political and strategic guidance on the EU approach to security and defence, for the next 5 to 10 years.


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