In Luxembourg, EU foreign ministers agree on further response to Russian provocations
"Our response to Russian provocations after the events in Salsbery remains united and coordinated, we all understand the need to strengthen the resilience of our countries in the face of modern threats. The role of the European External Action Service’s Eastern Strategic Communications Division (StratComm) is particularly important – we need to evaluate the work of this team and to constantly improve it," said Linkevičius in a discussion on relations with Russia, during which EU Foreign Ministers discussed prospects for the near future and further joint actions following the events in the city of Salisbury, the United Kingdom.
Lithuania's Foreign Minister also spoke about Lithuanian initiatives of cooperation with Russia's civil society, called on the partners to intensify their contacts with Russian activists, the opposition, and NGOs. Linkevičius stressed that as Russia’s aggression against Ukraine continued and the Minsk agreements were not being implemented, it was necessary to strengthen sanctions against Russia and to extend the current sanctions.
“The current sanctions need to be strengthened and new sanctions must be imposed in response to new hostile actions,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister, calling for coordinating the sanctions regime with our transatlantic partners.
The Lithuanian Foreign Minister briefed the participants about individual, targeted sanctions against the Kremlin regime already in place in Lithuania and noted that 21 citizens of the Russian Federation had been freshly included in the list of persons (the so-called Magnitsky Act). The targeted sanctions mainly apply to law enforcement, force structure officials and politicians, who have significantly contributed to the restriction of civil rights and freedoms in the Russian Federation or violated human rights, as well as are suspected to have been directly involved in organizing political assassinations or in large-scale corruption and money laundering. Linkevičius reminded his counterparts that these measures would be much more effective, if they were applied at the EU level.
On 16 April, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius participated in the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, which focused on the future of funding instruments for Russia, Syria, Iran, the Western Balkans and the EU external actions.