Updated at 11:50,09-12-2019

‘Neighbours are given by God’. Lithuania’s envoy summoned over Grybauskaite’s interview

belsat.eu

‘Neighbours are given by God’. Lithuania’s envoy summoned over Grybauskaite’s interview
Lithuania“s ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on June, 6 over Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite’s criticism of Belarus.

In Sunday’s interview with TV station LRT Grybauskaite stated that the proximity to Russia and Belarus and the use of the territory of Belarus for ‘aggressive games’ pose a threat to Lithuania.

“Estonia, as well as Latvia and Poland, is are very important to us, since it is the eastern border of NATO, and we have common challenges and threats, i.e. Russia’s and Belarus’ being close to our eastern borders. Of course, it is also militarization which we are observing now in Kaliningrad, the use of the territory of Belarus for various experiments and aggressive games against the West, parlicularly the upcoming military exercise West-2017,” the Lithuanian leader said before visiting Estonia.

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry expressed their dissatisfaction over the words ‘aggressive games’ saing it was an insult. According to the Belarusian side, such statements are made to ‘enhance one’s recognition by partners in NATO’ and ‘gain popularity among voters.

“It is very odd that the president of a country should choose to resort to such rhetoric considering our friendly relations are cemented by the Belarusian-Lithuanian agreement on good neighborhood and cooperation, which has been in effect for over 20 years. It is impossible to choose one’s neighbours, they are given by God,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes a representative of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.

In response, Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius has said on Tuesday tat Lithuania values the economic partnership with Belarus, however, cannot ignore the problems the country is faced with.

The West-2017 war game is scheduled for September, 14-20. It will be the final stage of the joint training of the armed forces of the two countries this year.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite and a number of European politicians believe that the ‘West-2017’ demonstrates the preparation of Belarus and Russia to the war with the West. In mid April, Oleksandr Turchynov, Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, stressed that the joint military exercise might become the preparation for an assault against Ukraine in September.