President Dalia Grybauskaitė

Joint focus of EU and NATO leaders on European security

2016-06-28

Tuesday, June 28, Brussels – European Union leaders who have gathered in Brussels met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss how to deepen EU-NATO cooperation. A Global Strategy on foreign and security policy for the EU was also presented and the implementation of the Minsk agreements was discussed at a European Council meeting.

According to the President, the EU takes a consistent and principled position – sanctions are directly linked with the implementation of the Minsk agreements. Russia has not fully implemented its commitments so far; therefore, there can be no talk of lifting sanctions. Russia would regard this as appeasement, legitimization of its unlawful actions in Ukraine’s territory and approval to its policies of aggression.

EU leaders also considered the new Global Strategy on foreign and security policy for the EU, which will set out long-term guidelines for the EU’s relations with its neighbors and other countries in the world. Last time such a strategy was drawn up in 2003. The President emphasized that over the 13-year period the geopolitical situation in Europe’s neighborhood and in the world had changed significantly and, therefore, the new strategy had to respond to reality.

The document takes into account Lithuania’s proposals – it identifies the threat that Russia poses to European security, consolidates the non-recognition of the annexation of Crimea, and draws attention to the risk of hybrid threats and the importance of complying with international nuclear safety standards, Dalia Grybauskaitė said.

EU leaders and the NATO Secretary General discussed the strengthening of EU-NATO relations, especially in developing resilience to information and cyber attacks, coordinating actions in case of hybrid warfare and working together to tackle migration challenges. NATO ships are already patrolling in the Aegean Sea and help to prevent people smuggling and to avoid meaningless deaths.

Ahead of the NATO summit in Warsaw, it was agreed to make a joint statement of NATO, European Council and European Commission leaders to provide for coordinated exchange of information, joint assessment of threats and possibilities of expanding NATO’s contribution to further tackling the migration crisis.

Following the decision of the British people to leave the EU, NATO’s role is also important in strengthening transatlantic relations and ensuring the unity of European countries in the changing geopolitical environment.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2016.06.28 21:38

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