Gitanas Nausėda after the meeting with Emmanuel Macron: We appreciate France’s solidarity in the face of the hybrid attack
President Gitanas Nausėda continues his working visit to France. On Tuesday, he met with French President Emmanuel Macron. The two leaders discussed bilateral relations, NATO and EU agendas, the tense situation on the border with Belarus, and the overall security situation in Europe.
The focus was placed on European security and defense issues. The President of Lithuania emphasized that strengthening transatlantic cooperation was an integral part of European security. According to Gitanas Nausėda, EU countries should pay more attention to ensuring security, including by allocating 2 percent of GDP to defense funding.
The Lithuanian and French leaders discussed the worrying regional security situation. Gitanas Nausėda stressed that Russian military build-up on the border with Ukraine was a warning signal for the whole of Europe.
The two Presidents addressed the illegal migration crisis on the EU border with Belarus. During the meeting, the Lithuanian President stressed that the EU should now prioritize the repatriation of migrants to their countries of origin in order to avoid a humanitarian tragedy, should stop the flow of illegal migrants to the EU border by talking to their countries of origin and should, as soon as possible, adopt changes to EU migration policy: provide EU member states with tools to respond efficiently to hybrid attacks, strengthen the protection of the external border as well as maintain and, if necessary, extend sanctions against the Minsk regime.
“It is important for all of us to realize that what Lithuania, Poland and Latvia is facing today is not just a problem for these countries. It is a concern for the entire EU as we protect the external border. The response must be collective and based on real action, not declarative,” Gitanas Nausėda said.
The Presidents of Lithuania and France also discussed the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit and international counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel.
The two leaders also talked about the priorities of the forthcoming French Presidency of the European Union, the EU’s resilience and competitiveness, climate change, digital agenda, and the development of bilateral cultural cooperation.