Lithuanian FM in Tbilisi: ‘we strongly condemn the actions of occupying forces, so-called elections’

  •  Lithuanian (R) and Georgian foreign ministers met in Tbilisi earlier today. Photo: Foreign Ministry press office., 9 Sep 2019 - 13:25, Tbilisi,Georgia

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, currently on an official visit to Georgia, has stated that his country strongly condemns the erection of illegal fences by occupying forces and the holding of so-called elections in the Russian-occupied Georgian regions.

I want to strongly condemn all such actions which are absolutely unacceptable,” Linkevicius stated after his meeting with Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani earlier today.

He said that Lithuania is closely cooperating with Georgia to help the country speedily integrate itself into NATO and the EU.

We are supporting Georgia’s moves towards Euro-Atlantic integration. Georgia is a leading country in this direction. When it comes to NATO, we can say that Georgia acts as a member of the alliance, sending its troops to ensure international security and sharing in the threats – which will definitely work as a strong argument in the future [for membership],” Linkevicius said.

He said that Lithuania is supportive of efforts to ensure democracy in the country. 

Elections, media pluralism and all the instruments of democracy should be protected in a country which strives towards Euro-Atlantic integration. The process is not always easy. There are many obstacles and problems on the way. We have always stood together to cope with such challenges,” Linkevicius said.

Zalkaliani said that Lithuania is Georgia’s “one of the closest allies, ensuring big support for the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration.”

He stated that the number of tourists from Lithuania has increased, and direct flights between the two countries has played a role in this.

Zalkaliani said that the role of the Geneva International Discussions, a format of meetings on issues concerning the occupation of Georgian territories, was also discussed at the meeting.

It is necessary all the formats be used to always push forward the issue of the occupation,” Zalkaliani said.

Linkevicius is scheduled to leave Georgia on September 11.