Lithuanian and Canadian Prime Ministers’ Meeting highlights the importance of transatlantic unity and bilateral cooperation


2023 07 11


On Tuesday, on the eve of the NATO Summit in Vilnius, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The meeting took place at the Gediminas Castle Tower of the National Museum of Lithuania and focused on strengthening NATO’s defence and deterrence, support for Ukraine, and bilateral cooperation between Lithuania and Canada. The Head of the government welcomed Canada’s decision to open an embassy in Lithuania, thus further strengthening the ties between the countries.

“Russia is waging a war against Ukraine in parallel with its struggle against democratic societies, transatlantic unity, and the rules-based world order. To the extent that we find the resolve to strengthen NATO’s collective security at this summit in Vilnius, we will be able to feel secure in the future. It is not only the contribution we make to our own security by strengthening defence and deterrence that matters but also how we meet Ukraine’s aspirations for NATO membership. We also need to find a solution to ensure that Sweden joins the Alliance as soon as possible,” said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister thanked Mr. Trudeau for Canada’s important contribution to the security of the Baltic region, noting that strengthening the security of any Baltic state is important for the region and the Alliance.

The Prime Ministers discussed the security situation in the region, the security threats to NATO’s eastern flank posed by recent events in Russia and Belarus, and the importance of continuing and strengthening the support for Ukraine, including military support. Sustainable peace in Europe can only be achieved if Ukraine wins the war and Russia withdraws from the occupied territories, as well as if there is a complete cessation of aggression and international justice for the crimes committed – the parties noted.

The Lithuanian and Canadian Prime Ministers noted the risks of dependence on the resources of authoritarian regimes and the need for closer cooperation between democracies globally.

At the meeting, Prime Minister Šimonytė stressed the importance of economic cooperation between Lithuania and Canada, particularly in high-tech and high value-added sectors.

“I hope that the opening of the Canadian Embassy in Vilnius will contribute to the development of such relations,” the Prime Minister said.

As the Prime Minister stressed, Canada is not only a reliable ally of Lithuania but also a country close to Lithuania in terms of common values – we are guided by the principles of freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, and the historical ties between the two countries are strengthened by the fact that Canada has never recognised the annexation of Lithuania. This was very important both for the Lithuanian people living under occupation and for the emigrants, some of whom found their homes in Canada, the Head of Government said.