Foreign Minister Landsbergis: “It took courage to open NATO’s doors to the eastern flank. The time is ripe for taking another bold step – recognizing that Ukraine is already a creator of Europe's security architecture and opening the doors to it"
Today, on 14 June, security and international relations experts from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Nordic and Central European countries gathered in Vilnius to discuss the future of Europe's security architecture.
The keynote speaker for this event is Anders F. Rasmussen, former NATO Secretary General (2009-2014) and former Prime Minister of Denmark from the times when Lithuania was seeking accession to the EU and NATO.
“It took courage to open NATO’s doors to the eastern flank. The time is ripe for taking another bold step – recognizing that Ukraine is already the creator of Europe's security architecture and opening the doors of NATO also to it,” Landsbergis said at the opening of the security experts’ event.
When discussing the Alliance's next steps to ensure transatlantic security, the head of Lithuania’s diplomacy noted that Russia could not and should not be part of the European security architecture.
“Recent history has shown that Russia disregards international agreements and that peace settlements eventually result in frozen conflicts. Tor twenty years, the Kremlin has escalated and created conflicts, eroding the foundations of Europe's security architecture. So we cannot give in to the intimidation to use nuclear weapons or other Russian blackmail,” Landsbergis said.
In his speech, Rasmussen listed why Ukraine should become part of the Alliance without waiting for the end of Russia’s war against Ukraine. He also argued that there should be no fear of a possible escalation of the conflict between NATO and Russia. According to Rasmussen, those who succumb to the threat of the use of nuclear weapons are forever condemned to live in the slavery of the nuclear weapon manager.
“We have an unprecedented opportunity to turn the current security crisis into a success story for Ukraine and Europe,” said the Director of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University, Professor Margarita Šešelgytė, summarizing the security situation ahead of the NATO summit.
Security experts’ discussion “The Future of European Security Architecture” took place according to the rules of Chatham House.
The opening speeches by Landsbergis, Šešelgytė and Rasmussen can be found here: https://youtu.be/VkIeJq4JiNE