News

2016.05.27 13:37

German Foreign Minister visits Lithuania

Algirdas Acus 2016.05.27 13:37

German FM Steinmeier while visiting Lithuania on Thursday said the sanctions on Russia are linked with Minsk agreement implementation.

German FM Steinmeier while visiting Lithuania on Thursday said the sanctions on Russia are linked with Minsk agreement implementation.

Frank Walter Steinmeier held talks in Vilnius with his Lithuanian counterpart Linas Linkevičius focused on the NATO July Summit in Warsaw.

‘All those expectations that are risen, we would not try to avoid them’, said Steinmeier referring to Baltic countries requests for more security measures against Russia.

‘On the whole, we are happy about this process while preparing for the Warsaw Summit’, concluded Linkevičius.

Spooked by Russia's actions, the Eastern European states have lobbied the Alliance to increase its presence, and Lithuanian Ministry of Defence said last month that Germany plans forming a NATO battalion group in the country.

Steinmeier said NATO will discuss additional deployments at the July summit in Poland, without elaborating.

He also told Baltic News Service that the EU is facing difficult talks on extending sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, due to the increased resistance of some member states. But during his presser Steinmeier repeated that current EU sanctions on Russia's banking, defence and energy sectors are directly linked with implementing Minsk agreement on Eastern Ukraine.

The sanctions will have to be extended in July, and it will require a unanimous vote.

SHOTLIST

Steinmeier said NATO will discuss additional deployments at the July summit in Poland, without elaborating.

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

LINAS LINKEVIČIUS, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs:

Of course, one battalion cannot protect all the territory, there is a whole system, and everything goes smoothly while waiting for the Warsaw Summit, there is more presence of our Allies in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, on the ground, air and sea. All this is happening in the context of all system. NATO units have this aim to have a security guarantees and not their imitations. In principle, we are happy about this process while preparing for the Warsaw Summit.

Sound bite (German)

FRANK WALTER STEINMEIER, German Minister of Foreign Affairs:

All those expectations that are risen, we would not try to avoid them, at the moment there are no final solutions in Germany considering Warsaw Summit, we have 6 weeks left, and all those decisions will be made on time.

Sound bite (German)

FRANK WALTER STEINMEIER, German Minister of Foreign Affairs:

My attention is focused not on sanctions, but more on implementation of the Minsk agreement. We cannot just cancel the sanctions. Sanctions are closely connected with the implementation of Minsk agreement.

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

LINAS LINKEVIČIUS, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs:

There are no grounds to cancel sanctions. I would like to remind that this is the only measure of pressure and it was undertaken, because Russia does not follow the Minsk agreement. We of course welcome some positive signs, especially Nadiya’s Savchenko release. She was exchanged, and it was not a unilateral action. These are positive signs, but I want to point out that this is not connected with the Minsk agreement implementation in general.

Sound bite (German)

FRANK WALTER STEINMEIER, German Minister of Foreign Affairs: