2020.09.15 14:23

Lithuanian foreign minister to sign 5G deal with US in Washington

Vaidotas Beniušis, BNS2020.09.15 14:23

Vilnius and Washington will on Wednesday sign a cooperation agreement on the development of 5G telecommunications infrastructure, according to the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius departed for Washington on Tuesday and will sign sign a memorandum of understanding with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday, according to Linkevičius' spokeswoman Rasa Jakilaitienė.

The US administration has been pressing countries not to allow Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to take part in the development of 5G networks.

Jakilaitienė told BNS that the agreement would not name specific countries or companies.

The United States has signed similar declarations with the other Baltic states and Poland. They include agreements to evaluate whether the technology providers are not controlled by a foreign government with no independent judicial oversight.

Read more: Latvia signs 5G declaration with US to sideline China

In an interview with BNS in February, US Ambassador to Lithuania Robert Gilchrist said the US expects Lithuania to take proper care of 5G security and evaluate threats posed by China when introducing the technology.

Lithuania's military intelligence previously warned that Huawei poses a security risk due to China's laws that require companies to share data with the country's intelligence bodies.

Read more: Russia and China seek foothold in Lithuania via gas and tech – report

Meanwhile, Huawei says it is taking care of cyber security and complies with international regulations, adding that no government institutions or external organisations own Huawei shares or control the company in any other way.

During his meeting with Pompeo, Linkevičius will also discuss bilateral ties and the situation in Belarus, Jakilaitienė told BNS.

Read more: Baltics caught between superpowers in China's 5G battle – Investigation