Prime Minister meets with French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs


2023 03 30


On Thursday, March 30th, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė met with Catherine Colonna, the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, who is on a visit to Lithuania. The two discussed support for Ukraine, which is defending itself against Russian military aggression, sanctions against Russia and its international responsibility as the aggressor state, the strategic partnership between Lithuania and France, the resilience of democracies against authoritarian regimes, and other issues relevant to both countries.

“Lithuania and France are united by common values and the pursuit of a secure, peaceful and stable Europe, as well as a rule-based world order. We have cemented our close bilateral relations through a strategic partnership, the strength and development of which is more tangible and relevant than ever given today’s challenges. As Russia continues its brutal war against Ukraine, authoritarians across the world are watching to see whether the democracies supporting the Ukrainians will not lose their unity, resolve and strategic patience. It is important that we are and stay united, both in words and deeds,” said Prime Minister Šimonytė.

The parties discussed the need to continue supporting Ukraine by providing it with necessary and rapid military assistance, as well as to continue and strengthen the effective policy of sanctions against Russia and its accomplice Belarus.

Supporting Ukrainians in defending their country and their democratic future is crucial, as authoritarian regimes around the world are watching and assessing the limits of their capacity for aggression, and learning from the mistakes made, Prime Minister Šimonytė added. Therefore, cooperation among democracies needs to be even more active to resist the influence of authoritarian regimes.

In this context, it is also important to continue supporting Belarusian civil society and its legitimate demands for an end to the regime’s repression, the release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners, and democratic elections.

The head of the Government of Lithuania thanked Foreign Minister Colonna for France’s contribution to the strengthening of NATO’s Eastern flank, including its participation in the Alliance’s Baltic Air Policing Mission and the Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battlegroups.

As Prime Minister Šimonytė noted during the meeting, Lithuania is strengthening its national defence capabilities, and doing so in cooperation with close partners and allies like France.

The parties also discussed the need to counter Russia’s disinformation efforts outside Europe, especially in Africa and Asia, to discredit Ukraine and to shift the blame for the global consequences of the war to Western countries and their sanctions against Russia.

The meeting also included considerable attention to China’s role in global politics.