Laurinkus. Nausėda doesn’t need to “find his place”, he is exactly where he needs to be

Presidential palace
Presidential palace, DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

The discussion Lithuanian Foreign Policy Outlook, where President G. Nausėda answered questions presented by the director of the Eastern Europe Studies Centre L. Kojala and others, convinced me that it should absolutely be the president who should go to European Council summits. Why, Mečys Laurinkus asks in news portal?

According to G. Nausėda, he is the leader of an independent country and not (already the author’s interpretation of these lines) a participant of the “production meeting” of the EU regions, which are only formally called states.

According to the President, the European Union is a union of nations and must remain such a union of independent states, and EU issues are a matter of foreign policy, not our country’s domestic policy.

Perhaps G. Nausėda will further clarify and supplement his vision of the future of the EU, but at least for the time being, it is clear that he is not a supporter of strict EU integration, in other words, not for the United States.

In this respect, he differs from a large group of Lithuanian political conservatives, liberals of all varieties, as well as from former President D. Grybauskaitė. I do not know what Prime Minister I. Šimonytė’s vision of the EU is.

G. Nausėda’s position more closely resembles mine. And not only because on March 11, I voted for an independent state of Lithuania in all respects. Although I supported accession to the EU, the emergence of this community as a political unit would be disastrous for Lithuania, a small state.

On the other hand, I understand the argument that only more significant integration than currently required is a condition for the EU’s survival. There will still be heated debates on this issue. The Big Family Defence March is just a small start.

But also because of that, G. Nausėda will have to rack his brain significantly on what to say to the protesters.

The conversation began with Lithuania’s relations with Poland.

G. Nausėda’s visit to Warsaw on the occasion of the commemoration of the May 3 Constitution was significant and beneficial for the strategic neighbours.

Finally, there is movement in the writing of surnames. Common interests, major energy and infrastructure projects are increasingly pushing unpleasant historical topics into academic conferences.

Poland is on the same team as Lithuania with regard to Ukraine and Belarus.

In fact, we did not learn anything new, either about relations with these countries or about the perspective of the Eastern Partnership from the President’s answers.

In my view, the Eastern Partnership has failed, but no one is willing to say it out loud. The partners’ internal problems have turned out to be much more complex than they seemed to be 15 or 20 years ago.

Moving away from Russia does not mean approaching the West. It is not at all clear to me where Ukraine is moving. During the conversation, G. Nausėda repeatedly expressed support for the part of the Belarusian society that had revolted against the regime.

But soon, it will have been a year since the then seemingly impressive resistance to the dictator began, and he is still sitting in his chair and still spouting off decrees. G. Nausėda explained that revolutionary changes are not fast everywhere.

I thought that this fall was the last one for A. Lukashenko, now I am starting to think that he could stretch to the end of his term and end the transit from the East through Lithuania with the help of Moscow.

How to compensate for already obvious losses (primarily in Klaipeda) should become a serious concern of Lithuania’s foreign policy.

G. Nausėda promised to try to ensure that the bad electricity from the Astravyets NPP would not reach the Lithuanian electricity networks but did not say what measures he would take.

Reluctantly (at least that’s how I heard it), L. Kojala asked about Lithuania’s relations with Russia.

Why “reluctantly” is understandable because a set of on-call phrases has been in force for more than ten years and are repeated alternately by all Lithuanian politicians of any rank. However, G. Nausėda did not overly engage with the on-call phrases, he repeated the known things about the threats and ended it.

Well-known U.S. film director, producer and political writer O. Stone noted that criticism of Putin and his environment began after the politician’s speech in Munich in 2007 and continues to intensify to this day.

Whether the situation may change after Putin, the director did not predict. Some analysts believe that Western-Russian relations will be determined by energy. According to Russia, its existing oil resources will still last for 60 years and its gas for a hundred years.

Western experts say the Western transition to green energy on a large scale will only begin in 20 years. So for at least another 30 years it will not be possible to do without Russian resources.

I liked G. Nausėda’s answer about M. Khodorkovsky, a well-known businessman and famous V. Putin critic, his speech in the European Parliament, in which G. Žiemelis’ company Avia Solutions Group was mentioned, V.Ušackas works there and A. Paleckis was mentioned for some reason. The president wisely advised not to jump to conclusions.

I was surprised by the breadth of Khodorkovsky’s speech because he himself explained that “everything is still to be checked” and therefore “unpublished”. But still, it was released. And this is from a man who has experienced through many years in a Russian prison what “unverified” suspicions mean. I think less of Khodorkovsky now.

Returning to the Lithuanian Foreign Policy Outlook, it should be said that after many years it is a serious attempt to begin to uncover Lithuania’s (primarily through the lips of its leaders) position on relations with other countries. The conversation with the president was a success. It is clear that G. Nausėda does not need to “look for a place” for himself to become established in Lithuanian politics – he is firmly in the place where he needs to be.
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