A CONVERSATION WITH PRIME MINISTER OF LITHUANIA INGRIDA ŠIMONYTĖ - On the frontlines of democracy in Europe, Lithuania has proven to be a key power in rallying global support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s war to wipe out Ukrainian independence and identity. Working together with the other countries in the region, Lithuania has poured military, humanitarian, and economic aid into Ukraine not only to help Ukrainians withstand Russia’s aggression, but to win this fight. At the same time, Lithuania has also risen to the challenges of the moment like few others. Lithuania provides crucial support to the democratic opposition in Belarus as it continues to stand against Belarusian dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka who not just unleashed a violent terror campaign against his own people, but now stands as a willing accomplice to Vladimir Putin’s aggression. Lithuania has also made global headlines for letting Taipei open a Taiwanese representative office in Vilnius despite massive economic and political pressure from Beijing.
What comes next for the Baltic states as Russia threatens Europe beyond Ukraine, and how can Lithuania continue working with its allies to support Ukrainian independence? What role does Lithuania see for itself as Belarus’ dependency on Russia continues to increase? What does Lithuania see as the challenges China poses to European states, and is Lithuania a model for combining economic security with a values-based foreign policy?
To discuss these critical issues, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė joined the Atlantic Council for a conversation with Dr. Evelyn Farkas about the challenges facing the global community and Lithuania’s role in addressing them. Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky, vice chair of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs’ Future of Diplomacy Project with Harvard University, provided opening remarks.
ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 06/16/2022