News2020.03.06 12:12

Pompeo asks Lithuania to block EU's Cuba deal

BNS 2020.03.06 12:12

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called on the Lithuanian government not to ratify the European Union's cooperation agreement with Cuba.

Lithuania is the only EU member state that has yet to ratify the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) signed bewteen the European Union and Cuba in 2016.

Read more: Cuban activists call on Lithuania to block EU pact with Havana

“We are grateful to Lithuania for not ratifying the agreement and ask that you continue to vote against it, as a symbol of your support for the Cuban people,” Pompeo said in a letter to Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis sent on Friday.

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by BNS, Pompeo says that the Cuban regime uses the agreement “to validate its dictatorial, repressive actions”.

The Lithuanian parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs gave the green light for the ratification in February.

Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius then said that while Lithuania was not an enthusiastic supporter of the EU-Cuba pact, it should not be the only one blocking it either.

The minister also said the EU's engagement could also help weaken the influence of China and Russia in the region.

The opposition Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats party has opposed the ratification of the pact, saying the move will serve the interests of the “repressive” Communist regime.

Read more: Lithuanian opposition wants ‘Cuba card’ as leverage in Brussels

Lithuania will consider the request

Commenting on Pompeo's letter, Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said that the country would carefully consider the request.

“We will carefully consider this request, just as we do all requests from our strategic partners, as we find it very important,” the minister told BNS on Friday.

“On the other hand, we avoid situations where we need to choose between EU interests and US interests that do not overlap everywhere. I believe

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