Prime Minister has met with head of National Democratic Institute Derek Mitchell


2022 11 17


On November 16, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė met with Derek Mitchell (U.S.), President of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and the representatives of this NGO representative office in Lithuania (for Belarus). The parties discussed Russia's war in Ukraine, the importance to continue the support for democratic forces in Eastern Europe, and the challenges posed by authoritarian regimes to the democracies across the world.

“Lithuania is a strong advocate of a world order based on common rules, which Russia has been openly targeting for a while now. Therefore, Ukraine's victory, without which sustainable peace in Europe will not be achieved, must be important to all of us. At the same time, the international responsibility of the aggressor must be ensured, otherwise impunity will only encourage not only Russia but also other authoritarian regimes to use brutal force to achieve geopolitical goals and fulfil personal ambitions of the leaders,” said Prime Minister Šimonytė.

Prime Minister emphasized that autocracies tend to exploit the dependence of other countries on the resources controlled by the regimes as a tool of political pressure and blackmail. All of Europe must have felt the effects of Russia's energy blackmail. Therefore, according to Ms Šimonytė, it is crucial to reduce, and preferably prevent economic, energy or other forms of dependence on authoritarian suppliers, all of which have similar patterns of influence.

“Just as democracies learn best practices from each other, so do authoritarians, only the latter adopt practices of economic blackmail, disinformation and propaganda, electoral fraud, destruction of civil society and the media, or repression of their own people,” said Prime Minister Šimonytė, stressing that only by uniting and supporting each other can democracies withstand the threats posed by authoritarians.

Head of the NDI Mr Mitchell thanked Lithuania for its active support for the democratic forces of Belarus and Lithuania’s close cooperation with the NDI in this area. The parties agreed on the importance of maintaining a focus on the Belarusian civil society as the Lukashenko regime seeks to stifle any democratic processes in the country.

It was also emphasized that it is important not to leave behind such countries as Moldova, which is implementing important reforms on its European path and is currently facing difficult challenges in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine.

The National Democratic Institute is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation with representative offices in more than 50 countries, contributing to the strengthening of democratic institutions and values across the world.