Govt’s programme calls for open dialogue with Poland in tackling problems

Polish and Lithuanian flags
DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

The foreign policy part of the program emphasizes security issues and says that the strengthening of security in the Central and Eastern European region is impossible without good relations with the Baltic and Nordic countries, Poland and other Central European nations.

“On the basis of common security and economic interests and mutual respect, we will strive for an open bilateral dialogue and cooperation with Poland in addressing existing problems,” the document reads.

Prime Minister-designate Saulius Skvernelis told the parliament last month that he saw Poland as a strategic partner and vowed to make every effort “to reset” relations with Warsaw, which are currently not in their best shape.

“I think that our relations of the past years, although not very bad, have not been neighborly and should be changed. I will make every effort, within my competence, to ensure that these relations gain another momentum and are reset,” he said when asked about Lithuania’s relations with the neighboring country.

Relations between Lithuania and Poland have been marred in recent years by disagreements over the situation of ethnic minorities.

In a separate section devoted to relations with the US, the program underscores the need “to achieve a permanent presence of military forces of the US and other NATO member states in Lithuania and other Central European nations.”

In the field of defense, Lithuania is committed to meeting NATO’s 2 percent of GDP target for defense spending by 2018 at the latest. With the principle of collective defense considered the cornerstone of its security, the country will seek to consolidate the permanent presence of Allied troops in its territory.

“We will pay due attention both to our capability to defend ourselves in our territory on our own and together with allied forces and to our capability to swiftly respond to security challenges faced by other allies,” the document reads.

The Armed Forces would be manned “mainly on a voluntary basis” and would consist of professionals, volunteers, conscripts and the mobilization reserve.

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