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Published: 2 july 2013 18:16

Political scientist: Spying scandal will inspire anti-American rhetoric, but won't change EU-US ties

Jungtinės Amerikos valstijos
AFP/Scanpix nuotr. / USA

The spying scandal may trigger a wave of anti-American rhetoric in Europe but will not affect strategic relations between the European Union (EU) and the United States, Lithuanian political scientist Nerijus Maliukevičius says.

Maliukevičius, a lecturer of Vilnius University's Institute of International Relations and Political Science, says the scandal may revise the context of the Lithuanian presidency over the EU Council, adding that Vilnius would not benefit from a potential deterioration of relations.

"Clearly, the EU has politicians who like and love the anti-American rhetoric, and it is just a matter of time until the politicians join the choir," the political expert told BNS on Tuesday.

"This probably won't improve the general background of the relations; however, I don't think it should complicate key strategic relations between the US and the EU," he added.

Earlier this week, the EU called for US explanations about media reports alleging that Washington was spying on its allies and secretly listened on conversations at EU diplomatic missions and headquarters in Brussels.

Some EU officials rushed to declare that this could affect EU-US talks on Free Trade Agreement, but Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė disagreed, saying the issues were unrelated.

Maliukeviwius says the spying scandal "may become a public background for a number of other issues, which may cause certain complications in the adoption of other matters."

"It is crucial for us to pay attention to the scandal, as it can create the context of our presidency. Meanwhile, strategic partnership with the US is one of the key priorities. The US strategic and geopolitical presence in Europe is important for us, and the possibility of complication in the relations should frighten us," the political scientist concluded.

On Monday, Lithuania took over the EU presidency and will perform the duties until the end of 2013.

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