Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite is on her visit to Kyiv. The politician, who is widely known for her long-standing support of Ukraine on the country’s way to the European integration, stays in the Ukrainian capital for a day. Back in November, the Lithuanian side confirmed that the preparations for Grybauskaite’s visit to Ukraine were underway. The previous visit of the Lithuanian president took place in March 2015.
During the visit, the Lithuanian leader met her Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko. The two presidents held a meeting behind the closed doors; then, they approached the press for a briefing and made the joint statement on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
I support the idea of creating the pro-Ukrainian coalition, the one that includes Ukraine; the coalition for peace and security in Europe, for freedom and prosperity of our nations. We agreed on this one. We’ve got to show an example, we’ve got to explain things; we need to fight propaganda, to oppose lies. We should stay positive; we should build our future and the pro-Ukrainian coalition across the globe.
You conducted crucial reforms now, very painful ones. The recently filed e-declarations of incomes show you’ve got a lot of work ahead – in terms of fighting corruption, which sometimes hurts your country even more than the war on its territory. This is the challenge that Ukraine’s political parties alone cannot stand against. It takes the entire Ukrainian people to join efforts and work with the civil society, the politicians, the business circles. We should stand united to overcome this tumor. This is what you have to go through in the coming years.
European Council’s session will take place this week. I’ll go there, and we will be doing our best to assist you country while seeking decision for visa-free regime. At least I hope it will be implemented next year, and Ukrainians will be able to travel to Europe freely. We’ll also raise the issue of implementation and ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Currently, there are certain technical problems but I guess they will be dealt with soon enough. This is the most important tool for EU and Ukraine – in terms of trade and creating better economic relations.
Today’s presidential meeting is crucial for both countries. Next year, you president will come to Lithuania. This year, I’m here.
As of today, I confirm that the number of tanks, artillery systems, multiple missile launchers in the occupied territories of eastern Ukraine exceeds that of the entire Germany’s Bundeswehr. Europe cannot feel safe anymore while Russia behaves in such an aggressive manner.
We see the heavy military vehicles and artillery staying in their positions. Last night, large-caliber 152-mm artillery and mortars were used to shell positions of the Ukrainian military. In these conditions, it is absolutely clear that the extension of sanctions against Russia is the necessary thing. We expect the respective decision to be made soon.