This week marks the annual NATO ministerial meeting in Washington, when foreign ministers from the Alliance’s 29 members convene to discuss shared security threats. It also marks the 70th anniversary of NATO itself: a milestone that has been met with both celebration of NATO’s past and trepidation about its future.
One of the foreign ministers in town this week is Lithuania’s Linas Linkevičius, a seasoned diplomat who has long argued for a tougher line on Russia and for prioritizing the fight against disinformation. Charles Davidson, Publisher of The American Interest, and TAI Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Gedmin recently sat down with the Foreign Minister to discuss the state of the NATO alliance at a time of profound uncertainty. This transcript has been edited for clarity.
By Linas Linkevičius. How many wake-up calls do we really need to wake up?
History brims with examples of strong leadership. Contemporaries used to call the former Yugoslav leader, Josip Broz Tito, a “benevolent dictator,: as Yugoslavia under his rule appeared a quiet and peaceful place. Yet, the Balkans, immersed in an unprecedented bloodshed following the collapse of communist rule, until this day reminds us of the perils of taking the imagined for real.
Lithuania's Linas Linkevicius tells DW that Russia has been violating the terms of the INF nuclear arms treaty. He says action is necessary to force all parties to comply with the agreement.
Mediamax’s exclusive interview with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevicius
A year ago Armenia and EU signed the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA). After joining the Eurasian Economic Union Armenia was unable to sign the Association Agreement with the EU, but can we say that CEPA is also ambitious document and able to offer a lot to Armenia?
Any document can be ambitious if backed by motivation, by efforts, and it is up to Armenia to make the new agreement efficient. It will never replace the Association and Free Trade Agreement, obviously, but how to preserve what was invested, what was done, is again up to Armenia. We in European Union try to adjust every position to make sure our partners feel comfortable, so we won’t expose them to something they don’t like.
Conventional wisdom has it that symbols in politics matter. History tends to repeat itself, especially if we fail to learn its lessons.
August is rife with tragic historical anniversaries which remind us of the lessons we have not learned: Ten years of the Russian aggression against Georgia; 50 years since the Soviet tanks crushed the peaceful protests in Prague; 79 years since the notorious Molotov-Ribbentrop pact that sealed the fate of millions of Europeans and turned the peaceful lands into “bloodlands,” to borrow Timothy Snyder’s phrase.
While the horrendous lessons of World War II and the urge to ensure “Never again” gave rise to the institutions which are at the core of the our world today, such as the North Atlantic Alliance, or NATO, (and the European Union), the more recent events demonstrate we are still failing to hold the perpetrators to account.