German foreign minister and US Congressional delegation on visit in Lithuania

Frank-Walter Steinmeier

At a meeting with Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius on Thursday, the German diplomacy chief will address the situation in Ukraine, the ties with Russia, the Eastern Neighbourhood program, regional and energy security, Linkevičius’ adviser Kęstutis Vaškelevičius told BNS.

In his words, additional focus will be placed on specific projects of bilateral cooperation in fields of strategic communication, empowerment of civil society, education and youth exchange.

After visiting Lithuania, Steinmeier will proceed to Latvia and Estonia.

Discussions are currently underway in the European Union about sanctions on Russia, which were launched in response to the annexation of the Crimea and Moscow’s support to separatists in Eastern Ukraine.

Last month, EU leaders agreed that the sanctions should be applied until full implementation of the Minsk ceasefire accords, however, the decision on a specific timeframe has been postponed. If the sanctions are not extended, they will expire this summer.

Meanwhile, President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Defence Minister Juozas Olekas will receive a delegation of US legislators headed by chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services Mac Thornberry of the Republicans.

The delegation is also going to Rukla, which currently accommodates rotating US troops.

“The delegation is traveling to Lithuania to extend outreach, express gratitude, and provide reassurance to the regional Allies,” the embassy said in a press release.

The visit in Lithuania will be the final stop of the regional tour of Romania, Ukraine, Latvia and Poland.

Discussions are currently underway in Lithuania on weaponry supplies to Ukraine, which is fighting Russia-supported separatists. Lithuania has confirmed having handed over elements of munitions to Kiev.

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