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2013.10.22 13:16

Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius on luck and achievements

DELFI.lt2013.10.22 13:16

Lithuania has become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Lithuania is actively supported by the European Commission and EU member states during a period of unilateral Russian blocking of Lithuanian dairy product exports, www.delfi.lt quotes the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius. 

Lithuania has become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Lithuania is actively supported by the European Commission and EU member states during a period of unilateral Russian blocking of Lithuanian dairy product exports, www.delfi.lt quotes the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius.

“Two scientists of Lithuanian descent have achieved Nobel prizes in chemistry and economics. Rūta Meilutytė beat world records in Moscow swimming championships,” writes Linkevičius.

“These are unrelated events during almost one week, but each makes Lithuania more known and trusted. Together they show our country’s potential and the potential of our people. We have many things to be proud of. These are good news, ones that often get drowned out. The most important aspect, however, is that none of them is simply luck. They are achievements. They are the result of long efforts, work done with purpose and together. They were not just waiting for success, but investing in work.

“I write this so that we would take note and see that this works, so that we don’t squander our potential. The ongoing chairmanship of the EU shows that there are ample challenges for us. The chairmanship is a duty, which shows our dependability in managing difficult situations and looking for solutions for all of Europe. It is obvious that there are many who do not benefit from our fortune, for many understandable and some not quite understandable reasons.

“The EU Eastern Partnership meeting in Vilnius in November is accompanied by increasing attention and increasing tension. Heightened pressure on the states that declare augmented relations with the EU (Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia), and even without much analysis, we can see that something important is happening. Even Lithuania, by chairing the EU and never hiding its active support for Eastern European integration and partnership has to endure the increased pressure.

“Suddenly, products exported to Russia have dropped in quality – Lithuanian dairy, Moldavian wine, Ukrainian chocolate. Russian rhetoric has been increasingly harsh, inviting countries to make the “correct” choices and then moving on to direct threats – to businesses, states and society. It is no longer possible to frighten our society; the processes of euro-integration are irreversible and will continue. But discrediting the government and riling up society – that can always be done and is really unnecessary. You can coerce statesmen or businessmen one by one, driving them to come to agreements and offering temporary discounts.

“However unwise it may be to discuss our weaknesses, but in this situation the only weapon we have is unity. We must stay united in withstanding the efforts to smear the history of our people, to use business for political goals, and to discredit meaningful values in foreign policy. The fact that we’ve held up well so far is both comforting and worrying. The strong are challenged more. EU solidarity has functioned excellently this time. There is no need to convince and reiterate what is happening. This is testament to how deeply rooted and trusted we are in the union. If we remain unified within, there will be further achievements and with them – luck.” 

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