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Commentators regret cancellation of Lithuanian President's visit to Russia and the US

D.Grybauskaitė ir B.Obama
Prezidentės spaudos tarnybos nuotr. / The Lithuanian president discusses key issues with foreign leaders during international events or by phone.
Šaltinis: BNS
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Deputy Chairman of Lithuania's parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Justinas Karosas, has expressed regret over the fact that President Dalia Grybauskaitė's planned visits to Russia and the United States were cancelled. Political scientist Vadim Volovoj, too, has said that such visits would have had great significance, the Lithuanian daily Lietuvos Žinios reports.

Karosas said he didn't know why the president's pre-planned visits to the United States and Russia did not take place. He guessed that it might be related to failed attempts to agree and sign some bilateral treaties. Karosas believes that highest-level visits to foreign states are very important.

"The fact that the leaders' visits to neighboring states are not taking place is not good. Such visits give impulse to bilateral relations. If there's stagnation in the former, there's also stagnation in the latter. There are lots of issues to discuss in Russia, including economic ones, and many things depend on the government's moves and attitude. It's obvious that it also has an impact on our business and financial relations with Russia," the MP said.

Karosas also underlines that the U.S. will remain Lithuania's strategic partner.

"It's very important to keep highest-level contacts with this state," he said

Volovoj, an expert from the Center for Geopolitical Studies, said highest-level visits to the United States and Russia would be very significant. They would demonstrate the wish to maintain warm bilateral relations and improve them. In his opinion, the president's visit to Russia has not taken place yet due to complicated bilateral relations. The current situation is not favorable for a smooth highest-level visit.

There are several reasons why Grybauskaitė has not yet paid a visit to Washington. First of all, the president wants to somewhat distance Lithuania from the United States and balance our region's position in the European context. Our region's relations with the United States have deteriorated, Volovoj said.

"All foreign visits take place only when there's a mutual interest and both countries are ready for that. President Grybauskaitė has said that visits should not be demonstrative but give visible results for Lithuania," Grybauskaitė's adviser on foreign policy issues Darius Semaška told the daily.

In his words, our country uses all diplomatic forms, not only official visits, to ensure effective cooperation. The Lithuanian president discusses key issues with foreign leaders during international events or by phone.

BNS
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