On 15-17 March at the Brussels Forum, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius attended meetings and discussed Lithuania’s preparations for the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the implementation of the Eastern Partnership, and the EU enlargement.
The meeting with Craig Kennedy, President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, discussed possibilities for Lithuania’s further cooperation with GMF; officials shared their ideas on how to better organise the Snow Meeting, which is held in Lithuania every January. Kennedy invited Lithuanian experts to contribute and participate in GMF studies in the Eastern Partnership countries. Much attention was given to cooperation during Lithuania’s upcoming Presidency the EU Council.
Linkevičius also met with the U.S. Senator Christopher Murphy. The Minister informed the Senator about the priorities of the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council and preparations for the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius. The meeting discussed progress achieved by the six Eastern Partnership countries; officials exchanged views on topical security and defence policy issues, including missile defence.
The head of the Lithuanian diplomacy called on the Senator to support a more active U.S. engagement in the Baltic region: send its troops to participate in NATO exercises, and develop regional security projects. Linkevičius invited the Senator to visit Lithuania this year.
The Minister and representatives of Latvia, Poland and Romania participated in a multilateral meeting with Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Đjukanović. The meeting focused on Montenegro’s bid to join the European Union and NATO, and preparations for the membership. Đjukanović made a comprehensive presentation of the country’s reforms and progress.
Linkevičius emphasized Lithuania’s support for further NATO enlargement, Montenegro’s aspirations, and stressed the need to continue the on-going reform process, especially legal reforms. The Lithuanian Foreign Minister called on Montenegro to intensify cooperation with the other three NATO candidate countries, and promised to assist in raising public support for the membership aspirations.
Montenegro’s Prime Minister offered organising a meeting of the Adriatic Charter nations and the countries that signed the Baltic Charter at the end of the year. The meeting would explore opportunities for interregional cooperation.