Prime Minister: Russia hopes to exhaust Ukraine‘s capability to fight and Western resolve to support - but neither will happen


2023 06 01


On Thursday, 1 June, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė has met with Ruslan Stefanchuk, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. At the meeting, which has taken place at the Office of the Government, the Prime Minister has underlined Lithuania’s readiness to support Ukraine until its victory, also Ukraine’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration goals - full EU and NATO membership.

‘Russia hopes to exhaust Ukraine’s defences and the Western determination to support it. It is therefore imperative that we not only maintain our strategic patience but also articulate a clear position on Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic future, which it has chosen and for which it is fighting every day. Lithuania will make every effort to ensure that Ukraine’s membership of NATO, which is essential for peace and stability in Europe, does not remain in the grey area, as well as Ukraine's aspiration to become a member of the EU, for which the country has been working steadfastly and effectively despite the difficult circumstances of the war’, said Prime Minister Šimonytė.

The Prime Minister has pointed out that Lithuania will continue the multifaceted support to Ukraine until Ukraine’s victory and make every diplomatic effort to support Ukraine’s aspirations to become a full member of the EU and NATO.

‘Russia has no right to restrict or attempt to influence the choices of an independent sovereign state and its free citizens—and it certainly does not hold, nor can it hold, a veto on EU or NATO enlargement issues’, stressed the Prime Minister.

Ruslan Stefanchuk has thanked Lithuania for the assistance provided to Ukraine even before the Russian military invasion, for the hospitality shown to Ukrainians who fled the war-ridden homeland, and for the support for Ukraine’s return to a common European home.

Other topics of the meeting have included cooperation in assisting Ukraine in the export of grain and other issues of relevance to the countries.

The Head of the Government has extended congratulations to Mr. Stefanchuk, who is set to receive the Aleksandras Stulginskis Star of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania on Thursday. The Prime Minister has expressed her great delight that the award for outstanding contributions in promoting the ideals of parliamentarianism, democracy, and statehood, is being presented this year to the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, noting that his country is currently not only defending its own freedom but also the freedom, statehood and democracy of us all.