Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias, following his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Lithuania, Gabrielius Landsbergis (Vilnius, 15.06.2021)

Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias, following his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Lithuania, Gabrielius Landsbergis (Vilnius, 15.06.2021)«Dear Gabrielius, it is such a great pleasure to be in Vilnius today, and I have to say that a visit by a Greek Minister here in Vilnius is long overdue.

We have no issues that separate us, no bilateral differences to discuss. But we have many things that tie us together, that bring us together, and many things that we can do together.

And although we are geographically rather far, again we share a common fate as we are both in the boundaries of the EU. And there are many issues that concern the boundaries of the EU, the borders of our Union. And we discussed them today. We discussed a few of them already and we will discuss them more, later during my visit.

We started with migration. Again, if I may be allowed to repeat being here with my dear colleague, we can help in any way Lithuania. We do have the experience of a bigger neighbour instrumetalising the migration phenomenon and pushing migration flοws towards the EU border. So, we can serve, dear Gabrielius, with our experience. And whatever we can do to help, please let us know. We can send people, we can share know-how, and we can also raise the issue in the [EU] Council of Ministers, to address it as a European challenge, because it is a European challenge.

We discussed our economic relations. Let me be frank and open; we are not happy with the level of our economic cooperation. We can do a lot more. There are many initiatives, like the Three Seas Initiative or connecting our railways, that could help us enhance our economic relations.

Also, this will help us address energy issues. We are going to discuss energy issues during lunch; how we could diversify our sources of energy. And there is one issue that I will raise over lunch, and I hope that it will not kill the appetite, it is the Astravets nuclear power plant. We are very sensitive with nuclear energy. I have to say that I am old enough to remember what it means to have a nuclear accident in your neighbourhood. So, we are having a similar problem with Akkuyu. Both cases have to do with Russian technology and we would like to address it together. To see how nuclear plants go with the EU and can be built in a way that saves us if there is an accident in the neighbouring countries.

Also, we discussed a little the relation between Greece, the European Union and Turkey. As you know, Prime Minister Mitsotakis met President Erdoğan in Brussels yesterday. Your President also met with President Erdoğan yesterday. I have to say that the meeting between Prime Minister Mitsotakis and President Erdogan was an ice-breaking meeting, but it was not a breakthrough. As Prime Minister Mitsotakis said afterwards, the differences are there, the differences still exist, and they are big and important differences.

We also discussed the issue with Belarus and the issue of the plane that started from Athens and was forced to land in Minsk. That is for us totally unacceptable. And – may I be allowed to repeat here in Vilnius – that this is not something we are going to forget. We are going to coordinate and cooperate; this is a huge issue. It is a piracy and we are going to address it accordingly.

A lot more things to discuss but, dear Gabrielius, thank you for this great opportunity to be in Vilnius today.

Thank you so much».

Related Articles

Back to top button