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2019.09.09 13:30

Lithuania and Poland should lead Western effort to help Russia democratise, Lithuanian MEP says

Saulius Jakučionis, BNS2019.09.09 13:30

Lithuania and Poland should create a long-term strategy for the West for the transformation of Russia into a democratic state, a Lithuanian MEP says.

“We need to think not only about ways to defend ourselves from Russia's aggressiveness, […] but also about smart ways to help it overcome its post-imperial complexes and transform,” Andrius Kubilius said at the Lithuanian parliament on Saturday.

“Such a transformation is the only way to avoid the Russia threat that we've had by our side,” the conservative politician and former prime minister added.

Kubilius spoke about the common Lithuanian-Polish position on foreign policy issues during the Lithuanian-Polish inter-parliamentary assembly on Saturday.

In his opinion, Western countries do not have a clear strategy for Russia and are only too willing to forget Moscow's aggressive behaviour as soon as possible and get back to business as usual. Kubilius believes such a strategy was one of “helplessness” and a dead-end.

“It’s a stance that leads the West nowhere and it does not help Russia to transform, only undermines [transformation efforts],” the politician said.

Kubilius believes that although Russia can only change after President Vladimir Putin is out of power, Western countries should already start crafting a message to the Russian people about how their relations with Moscow could look like if the country transformed.

The Lithuanian MEP also believes that Lithuania and Poland should push for Ukraine's integration into the EU and NATO. A successful example in Ukraine could inspire expectations of Russians to see their country transformed, Kubilius says.