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Lithuania: new government’s old line2008-12-16 09:54
On December 9 the new government formed as the result of the parliamentary elections in October took oath. The Conservatives got 6 out of 13 ministers' portfolios including the key ones: Defense, Economics, Finance and Foreign Affairs. The leader of the Conservative association of Christian democrats Anryus Kyubilyus became Prime Minister.
The promulgated program of the government that is taking over is full of statements on solidarity and partnership with the EU. "Lithuania's interests would be supported by a solid united foreign and security policy of the EU that maintains democratic values and contributes to mutual trust of partners especially on Russia issues", - the governmental document reads.
On December 12 it became clear what all that meant. Prime minister listed the new Cabinet's intentions at the conference in Lithuanian Seym. He demands the EU agreement with Russia on strategic partnership to be linked with "the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Georgia" and asks to allow Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Byelorussia to join NATO. All this was accompanied by traditional demands for compensation of damage for "the consequences of the Soviet occupation and annexation". All fourteen post-Soviet governments of independent Lithuania had this demand as their starting point. It always ended with a reply from Moscow asking to solve the issue of billions of dollars invested in the economy of Lithuania by the USSR first.
"After invasion of Georgia Russia ceased to be a partner with the EU, - the new Chairman of Committee for International Issues of Seym Audronis Azhubalis stated at the conference in Vilnius. - This is a threat to its existence after all. After Russian aggression in Georgia Moscow's attempts to outline new European security architecture must have an adequate response and not support".
He was echoed by Lithuania's envoy to NATO Linas Linkyavichus. He called for the country's urgent arming:
"The Alliance membership is a shield protecting Lithuania from any attacks of Russia whose target was Georgia in August. The events in Georgia make us confirm openly that already today we see the value and sense of the NATO membership. But that does not mean we must relax. The position "We are part of the alliance so we'll be protected" is wrong. The Washington Agreement states that each country must take care of its own security, appropriate required forces, funds and resources".