Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis Before Their Meeting

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Washington, D.C. – March 6, 2023

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Good afternoon, everyone.  It’s a great pleasure to welcome my friend, the foreign minister of Lithuania, here today.  Gabrielius, welcome back to the State Department, to Washington.  I think we – we met almost exactly a year ago today in Vilnius, but it’s really great to have you here.

And this is a momentous period in a number of ways.  We, of course, have the work that we are doing together with the great leadership of Lithuania in helping Ukraine continue to defend itself against the aggression from Russia; work that is now being done to prepare for what will be a very important NATO summit in Vilnius in just a few months’ time, so I look forward to comparing notes on that as we head to the summit, as well as the ongoing support for Ukraine.

And I must say as well that Lithuania has done an extraordinary job standing up to and resisting economic coercion coming from China because of its relationship with Taiwan.  We strongly supported Lithuania in those efforts.  I think your leadership in effectively resisting that economic coercion is a model for other countries, and we continue to stand with you in dealing with that.

So it’s very good to have you here today, and look forward to a good conversation.

FOREIGN MINISTER LANDSBERGIS:  Well, thank you.  And it is a great pleasure, an honor, to be back here and to have a chance to thank you and your country for the support that you provided to Ukraine throughout the last year.  And I wish we had been meeting in calmer, more boring times; unfortunately, we’re living in historic times, and therefore it shows that we are having in three – in two years what is our third meeting, if I’m not mistaken.

And I will use this chance also to thank for standing up with Lithuania when it comes to China’s coercion.  I think truly we developed a success story.  And unfortunately, most likely it won’t be the last time when countries are coerced, and I’m happy to provide all the information from Lithuania how did we manage that.

But I will also use this opportunity to thank in a bit historic matter for U.S. being not afraid, 30 years ago, to see the Soviet Union losing a standoff of decades-long.  And out of that standoff, out of that victory, and out of that loss, came Lithuanian independence.  And me sitting here is the evidence of that victory 30 years ago.  You were not afraid then, and I think we need to reassure ourselves and our partners in Ukraine that we won’t be afraid of their victory again today.  Because out of their victory a independent, sovereign, democratic, free Ukraine will be reborn out of this unjust war that is happening in Ukraine.

So once again, I’m very grateful for the chance to meet and talk, and hopefully we’re preparing for better times to come.  Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thanks, everyone.


Joint Statement by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis

Following their meeting, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Landsbergis and Secretary Blinken issued the following Joint Statement:

U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis met on March 6, 2023, in Washington, D.C.  Their meeting underscored the strength of the U.S.-Lithuania relationship as NATO Allies and close partners as well as deep cooperation on a broad range of topics.  They reaffirmed the shared commitment to the values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and human rights that have underpinned our partnership for more than a century.

Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Landsbergis confirmed the unwavering support of the United States and Lithuania for Ukraine as it defends its territory and democracy from Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion.  The two leaders committed to continue imposing strong economic costs on Russia through sanctions and pursuing accountability for those responsible for Russia’s attacks.  They also pledged to continue to provide the support Ukraine needs to alleviate the suffering of its people and to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders until Ukraine prevails while encouraging Allies and partners to do the same.  They reiterated their call for Russia to immediately stop its war of aggression against Ukraine and withdraw all its forces and military equipment from Ukraine’s territory.  They looked forward to achieving a successful NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania in July 2023.  They also committed to work together to enhance NATO’s deterrence and defense and to strengthen NATO’s partnership with Ukraine to advance its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

Foreign Minister Landsbergis and Secretary Blinken also reaffirmed their strong concerns about the PRC’s recent and ongoing economic coercion of partner economies and provocative actions that undermine the status quo in the Taiwan Strait.  They underscored the need for continued U.S. engagement in the face of economic coercion.  Secretary Blinken expressed appreciation for Lithuania’s resolve in withstanding the PRC’s unjustified political and economic coercion.  Foreign Minister Landsbergis expressed appreciation for the many actions the United States has taken to support Lithuania in withstanding PRC coercion and turning it into an economic opportunity.  They further reiterated the importance of close cooperation to uphold the rules-based international order, including recognizing the importance of the United States joining as a third party in the WTO case brought against China for discriminatory trade practices in Lithuania.  They welcomed the development of joint projects between Lithuania and Taiwan in semiconductors, lasers and other areas.  The leaders also seek to strengthen Lithuania’s robust economic partnership with Taiwan, support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international fora, and deepen people-to-people ties with Taiwan.

Drawing on the principles outlined in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy in February 2022, Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Landsbergis reaffirmed their commitment to advance a common vision for an Indo-Pacific region that is free and open, connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient.  They expressed their support for the mutual goal of closer cooperation between NATO and its Asia-Pacific Partners, and underlined the need to create secure and resilient supply chains and to collaborate on critical and emerging technologies and countering cyber threats.  They also look forward to Lithuania’s development of an Indo-Pacific Strategy.

Finally, Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Landsbergis underscored the importance of the Summit for Democracy process as a means to strengthen democratic governance and protect human rights.  In this regard, Secretary Blinken expressed appreciation for Lithuania’s ongoing leadership on building resilience to authoritarian coercion.  The Secretary and Foreign Minister endorsed efforts by academia and civil society to increase resilience in the face of propaganda and false narratives.


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