December 24, 2017 – FRN –
President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite, summing up the results of 2017 and describing the future of the republic, stated that it is necessary to cooperate with Russia, not to fight it.
“Relations with our neighbor will remain difficult in the coming years. If the current leadership continues in the country, the situation will not chang “she said.
She noted that Lithuania should not abandon its own values, but it should be understood that the geopolitical situation is changing, so, if necessary, you can revise the position on some issues.
The President also named several conditions for building relations with Russia, including the return of the “occupied” territories, the termination of “bribery” of politicians not only in Lithuania, but throughout Europe, as well as interference in elections of other countries .
“We always try to be friends with our neighbors, because we do not choose them, but the most important thing is that cooperation helps protect the interests of the state and our people,” she said.
Speaking about the security situation in Lithuania, Grybauskaite noted that the country’s defense sector requires investments, the army should be modernized and emphasis should be placed on the training of servicemen.
The head of the republic signed the state budget, which specifies that in 2018, defense financing will reach 2.006 percent of the GDP – that’s 873 million euros. At the moment, Lithuania has allocated 723.8 million euros for military needs, that is, 1.8 percent of the GDP.
On Wednesday, Russia and Lithuania signed documents on the demarcation of the border. This measure is designed to prevent conflict situations in the future.
Russia has repeatedly denied the accusations of trying to influence elections in different countries, and the presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov called them “absolutely unsubstantiated.” Also in the Kremlin they pointed out that they do not harbor any plans for aggression against the republic, whatsoever.