The Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union could not join the European Green Party due to different positions on family and LGBT+ rights, the party's leader Ramūnas Karbauskis says.
“We spoke that the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens cannot join the European Green Party. [Our] attitude to family is completely different, as we support the traditional family, and statements that come from the European Green Party we find completely unacceptable,” he told journalists after a meeting of the party's council in Kaunas District On Friday afternoon.
He added, however, that his party would continue to cooperate with the European Greens and work in one political group in the European Parliament.
Ahead of the meeting, the media showed Karbauskis' notebook which contained quotes from the European Green Party's statements about LGBT+ equality.
“I had notes in the Lithuanian language [...] on why talks on joining the European Green Party are impossible,” he said.
The European Green Party is a union of national parties that share similar positions on strengthening human rights, tackling climate change, advancing LGBT+ and gender equality, building a democratic Europe and other issues.
In its 2016 election manifesto, the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union pledged to “foster marriage- and kinship-based family” and introduce policies to raise birth rates.
Both Karbauskis and Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, who ran with the party, have said they oppose introducing same-sex marriage in Lithuania, while conceding to the need of fighting discrimination.