Programme of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (Foreign Policy part)

Programme of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (Foreign Policy part)




13 December 2016

(foreign policy part)



Consistency, activeness and continuity of foreign policy

295. The Lithuanian national foreign policy is based on long-term national interests and the continuity of pursuing them. The effective and consistent Lithuanian foreign policy is grounded on the principles of cooperation in the spirit of solidarity between democratic States, supremacy of international law, respect for human rights and freedoms and good neighbourly relations.

296. The main objective of the Lithuanian national foreign policy is the protection of national independence and democracy by adequately responding to the threats arising in the region and in the world. An equally important objective is to ensure successful economic and social development of the State as well as improvement of the well-being of its citizens.

297. In the light of the emerging security and other global challenges, NATO is and will remain the most important and effective framework for collective defence, which guarantees national security and effective deterrence against a potential aggression. We will seek full implementation of the decisions adopted in the NATO summit in Warsaw on 8-9 July 2016 with a view to stronger collective defence, the open door policy of the organisation, etc. We will continue providing assurance for the obligations of Lithuania, as an active and reliable member of the organisation, by trying to make an appropriate contribution to the achievement of security in this and other regions.

298. A strong, solidary, constructive and effective European Union is an essential interest of Lithuania. It remains the key factor in the political, economic and social development of Europe. We shall seek an even more active representation of Lithuania's positions and national interests within the EU and we call for a stronger role of nation States in EU institutions.

299. Through active cooperation in the formation of EU external relations, Lithuania will continue to contribute to an effective response to the global challenges posed by the international environment, i.e. the rise of terrorism and the migration crisis, while simultaneously dealing with the issues regarding stronger EU border protection and higher effectiveness of Schengen area activities, the solutions to which will have an impact on the future of the EU. Our goal is to achieve a common understanding within both the EU and NATO that the protection of external borders is a shared concern of the Member States. This would mean not only a possibility to put a long-term stop to the flow of refugees but also the availability of timely assistance from the partners in the event of threats at the eastern border of the EU and NATO.

International relations based on democratic values, as a guarantee of mutual trust

300. By participating in the activities of international organisations, Lithuania is gaining authority and at the same time, drawing on its experience of presidency of the Council of the EU, as a member of the UN Security Council and an active participant in other international organisations, such as the Council of Europe and OSCE, it seeks to make their activities more effective and transparent and more responsive to the challenges of the day.

301. Elected to the UNESCO Executive Board for 2015-2019, Lithuania will continue the practical implementation of its key activity priorities in international organisations, such as the protection of human rights, in particular the security of journalists, and other issues.

302. In the light of EU expansion and European unification, an increasingly crucial role, next to traditional international diplomacy, is played by parliamentary democracy. The joint efforts by members of the European Parliament to achieve lasting peace, sustainable development and a good neighbourhood is a solid foundation for the attainment of the objectives of the EU common security and defence policy as well as the European security and defence policy We strongly support the strengthening of the role of national parliaments within the EU as well as the development of parliamentary democracy in implementing the EU political agenda.

303. We will strive for a stronger political, economic and cultural cooperation, based on mutual trust and mutual benefits, with the largest and most influential EU Member States, namely Germany and France. In the light of the coming withdrawal of the Great Britain from the EU following BREXIT, and bearing in mind the significance of this country in strengthening the region's defence potential, we will make an active effort to maintain the existing close ties between Lithuania and Great Britain and will look for new forms of future cooperation.

304. More sustainable integration into the Euro-Atlantic community and reinforcement of security in the East and Central European region are impossible without good relations with the Baltic and Scandinavian countries, Poland and other countries in Central Europe.

305. Lithuania will consistently work for greater Baltic unity and cooperation as well as stronger political and economic ties between the Baltic and Scandinavian countries. On the basis of common security and economic interests and mutual respect, we will seek an open bilateral dialogue and cooperation with Poland in addressing the existing problems.

Long-term strategic relationship with the United States of America

306. We will endeavour by all means possible to strengthen the transatlantic ties and strive for an increasingly close relationship between Europe and the United States of America (USA). It is necessary to achieve regular deployment of the US and other NATO members’ military units in Lithuania and other countries of Central Europe.

307. Our strategic objective is to make sure that NATO’s attention to the eastern members of the Euro-Atlantic community does not diminish in the face of the rising threats from the South.

308. Strategic cooperation with the USA will be expanded and intensified, especially in the areas of energy, economy, research and military security. This is one of the key tasks for the next political period which must be implemented by utilising every possibility available in terms of personal diplomacy, intergovernmental cooperation and on other grounds.

309. Ambitious targets will be set for the development of ongoing work to attract the investment of US-based international corporations to Lithuania. For that purpose, we will strive to strengthen the capacities of the institution for attracting investments as well as synergy with the Lithuanian diplomatic corps. We will vigorously promote the growth Lithuanian-US trade, with a special focus on Lithuanian export.

Value-based Eastern Partnership and relations with eastern neighbours

310. In cooperation with our partners, we will endeavour by diplomatic means to make sure that the problems arising in the States of the Eastern Partnership are dealt with by instruments appropriate for the 20th century and with respect to international law, the integrity of States, sovereignty and the right to choose the defence, political and economic organisations they wish to enter.

311. We will actively encourage the Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, support the reforms ongoing in these countries and provide expert assistance. We will take a principled an active position against the recognition of the occupation of parts of the Ukrainian and Georgian territories.

312. Cooperation with other countries of the Eastern Partnership, namely Azerbaijan, Belarus and Armenia, will proceed based on individual models or those corresponding to the EU interests. A crucial issue in relations with Belarus, determining future cooperation, will be the Belarusian Government’s position with regard to compliance by the Astravyets nuclear power plant with the international safety standards as well as the human rights situation in the country.

313. The main objective of the policy towards Russia is to encourage this important neighbour of Lithuania to abstain from the use of force, military aggression and other illegal actions in international politics, to restore respect for the international legal norms and principles and to repair the damage caused to the international security architecture as well as the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbouring countries and, domestically, to consistently implement the principles of democracy and rule of law as well as respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. At the same time, as far as compatible with the above-mentioned main political objective with regard to Russia, pragmatic relations with Russia and its individual regions will be maintained in areas such as economy, trade, investment, goods transit, tourism, human relations and other.

Development cooperation: by helping others we help ourselves

314. We view development cooperation, or the international obligation to support less developed countries, as an opportunity rather than an obligation or a burden.

315. We will endeavour to expand Lithuania’s assistance to developing countries, while strengthening the value-based links with and the effect on traditional partners (Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova). Apart from that, we will build on our experience to reinforce the image of Lithuania, as an expert in reforms and European as well as Euro-Atlantic integration, and encourage the countries receiving support to follow in the path of necessary reforms.

316. We will seek strategic and efficient use as well as transparent administration of the development cooperation funds, with regard to the predefined national priorities.

317. We will promote participation of Lithuania’s partners in international development cooperation consortiums, joint applications for funding from donors, such as the EU development cooperation agency (EuropeAid), the US development cooperation agency (USaid), and joint activities in priority areas that could benefit from Lithuania’s expert potential.

318. By making targeted investments in infrastructure and pursuing synergy between the increasing accessibility of Lithuania and the diplomatic service’s efforts to organise international forums and conferences in Lithuania, we will seek for Lithuania the exclusive role of a moderator in the international community. We must hold a clear and unequivocal position on environmental issues and encourage discussions in the region, while providing the necessary technical facilities.

Economic diplomacy for the benefit of Lithuanian business

319. We will seek closer ties with the stable Asian economies and democracies, namely Japan and South Korea. We have set ourselves an objective to intensify cooperation in the areas of biotechnologies, information technologies, science, studies, culture and tourism. This would not only allow establishing close institutional ties, but would also increase Lithuania’s visibility and attractiveness in the eyes of the region’s societies.

320. We will also continue the development of political and economic ties with the booming world economy China and its separate regions. The main objectives of the bilateral relations, without forgetting the issues of human rights and freedoms, will be the development of economic relations and the use of Lithuania’s potential in facilitating access to the European markets for Chinese businesses.

321. We will work hard to help business expand export markets in various regions of the world, with due regard to the potential for security and political cooperation and considering the reliability and predictability of new markets. We will organise business missions in promising markets and search for new effective forms of work. One of the key tasks for our economic diplomacy is to emphasise the accomplishments of Lithuanian scientists and businesses in the sphere of ecology and thus contribute to the image of Lithuania as an eco-friendly, innovative and successful country.

322. Lithuania's membership in the OECD is one of our country’s main priorities in the coming period. By implementing the necessary reforms we will try to achieve Lithuania’s membership in the OECD by 2018.

323. Supportive of the application of the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada and bearing in mind the significance of the US market for Lithuanian goods and services, we approve of the objectives of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement initiated by the USA and the EU. However, in the light of the enormous scope and complexity of this agreement, prior to giving our consent to the provisions proposed, we will carefully evaluate the various positive and negative effects they may have on Lithuanian businesses.

324. We will seek active participation by Lithuania in the EU trade policy in order to open up new opportunities for Lithuania’s export and to reduce non-tariff barriers to trade with third countries.

325. Energy efficiency is an important element of economic and political independence. Lithuania must act vigorously to reinforce the external dimension of the single EU energy policy and a joint coordinated dialogue with third countries.

Ties with Lithuanian communities abroad and effective consular representation

326. With the help of the Global Lithuania programme and other instruments, we will maintain and strengthen relations with the Lithuanian worldwide diaspora and support Lithuanian organisations and communities abroad, as well as their initiatives that help foster and preserve Lithuanian consciousness, language and ties with Lithuania.

327. We will keep them regularly informed of any new attractive prospects emerging in Lithuania that may encourage them to return to their homeland.

328. We will devote major attention to the improvement of the quality of consular services by introducing a service quality standard that will contribute to the protection of Lithuanian citizens and their legitimate interests in foreign countries. We will intensify the efforts to reduce the number of countries that require paid advance visas from Lithuanian visitors.

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