Lithuania’s new leader: We would like Belarus to be independent and capable-to-act neighbour

“Such meetings should become a tradition,” Lithuania’s newly-elected president Gitanas Nauseda said on Tuesday when starting his first press conference.

Gitanas Nauseda. Phot Hanna Rusinava /

Nauseda promised that he would meet with the press every week.

Talking to reporters, the Lithuanian leader touched several domestic issues, including the government’s work and the would-be cooperation with the new coalition. However, he failed to delve into the details of the country’s foreign policy. According to him, the main task Lithuania is facing is to settle domestic problems and form a new government.

Phot. Hanna Rusinava /

“What steps towards Belarus will you take first? Belsat TV asked the politician.

“We hold Belarus as an important neighbour, an important partner to whom we pay a lot of attention. First and foremost, we are interested in having an independent, self-sufficient and capable-to-act partner at our eastern border. And therefore Lithuania will continue the dialogue with Belarus. But perhaps, it is too early to say whether this dialogue will be conducted at the ministerial or the highest level. We recognize the fact that we, neighbours, have different views and approaches to a number of problems. But there is no big tragedy, we can discuss about specific aspects or things. I will be able to answer your questions later. Let me at least take up my office on July 12,” Nauseda answered.

Phot. Hanna Rusinava /

It should be noted that Nauseda’s position on Belarus looks a bit softer than that of the incumbent President Dalia Grybauskaite who linked the improvement of relations to the issue of the would-be Belarusian nuclear power plant in Astravets.

On May 26, economist Gitanas Nauseda became a landslide winner in the runoff vote in Lithuania. He gained over 60% of votes. Earlier, he stated that the NPP question should not spoil the two neighbours’ relations since Lithiania was vitally interested in Belarus’ independence from Russia.

This week, Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius has stated that Lithuania’s position on the NPP construction will remain unchanged after the newly elected president assumes his office.

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