The following is the text of a Joint Statement following a meeting between Lithuanian Foreign Minister Landsbergis and Secretary Blinken in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis met on March 6, 2023, in Washington, D.C. Their meeting underscored the strength of the U.S.-Lithuania relationship as NATO Allies and close partners as well as deep cooperation on a broad range of topics. They reaffirmed the shared commitment to the values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and human rights that have underpinned our partnership for more than a century.
Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Landsbergis confirmed the unwavering support of the United States and Lithuania for Ukraine as it defends its territory and democracy from Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion. The two leaders committed to continue imposing strong economic costs on Russia through sanctions and pursuing accountability for those responsible for Russia’s attacks. They also pledged to continue to provide the support Ukraine needs to alleviate the suffering of its people and to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders until Ukraine prevails while encouraging Allies and partners to do the same. They reiterated their call for Russia to immediately stop its war of aggression against Ukraine and withdraw all its forces and military equipment from Ukraine’s territory. They looked forward to achieving a successful NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania in July 2023. They also committed to work together to enhance NATO’s deterrence and defense and to strengthen NATO’s partnership with Ukraine to advance its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
Foreign Minister Landsbergis and Secretary Blinken also reaffirmed their strong concerns about the PRC’s recent and ongoing economic coercion of partner economies and provocative actions that undermine the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. They underscored the need for continued U.S. engagement in the face of economic coercion. Secretary Blinken expressed appreciation for Lithuania’s resolve in withstanding the PRC’s unjustified political and economic coercion. Foreign Minister Landsbergis expressed appreciation for the many actions the United States has taken to support Lithuania in withstanding PRC coercion and turning it into an economic opportunity. They further reiterated the importance of close cooperation to uphold the rules-based international order, including recognizing the importance of the United States joining as a third party in the WTO case brought against China for discriminatory trade practices in Lithuania. They welcomed the development of joint projects between Lithuania and Taiwan in semiconductors, lasers and other areas. The leaders also seek to strengthen Lithuania’s robust economic partnership with Taiwan, support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international fora, and deepen people-to-people ties with Taiwan.
Drawing on the principles outlined in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy in February 2022, Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Landsbergis reaffirmed their commitment to advance a common vision for an Indo-Pacific region that is free and open, connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient. They expressed their support for the mutual goal of closer cooperation between NATO and its Asia-Pacific Partners, and underlined the need to create secure and resilient supply chains and to collaborate on critical and emerging technologies and countering cyber threats. They also look forward to Lithuania’s development of an Indo-Pacific Strategy.
Finally, Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Landsbergis underscored the importance of the Summit for Democracy process as a means to strengthen democratic governance and protect human rights. In this regard, Secretary Blinken expressed appreciation for Lithuania’s ongoing leadership on building resilience to authoritarian coercion. The Secretary and Foreign Minister endorsed efforts by academia and civil society to increase resilience in the face of propaganda and false narratives.
originally published at Politics - JISIP NEWS