Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis: The international community must consider declaring the Belarusian airspace a no-fly zone to keep commercial planes out of it
On 18 October in Luxembourg, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis attended the Foreign Affairs Council, which focused on the Eastern Partnership, the migration crisis caused by the Belarusian regime, the EU’s relations with the Gulf countries, the situation in the Western Balkans region, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and other foreign policy issues.
“Only through an ambitious and principled Eastern Partnership policy can we ensure its attractiveness to our partners, their willingness and motivation to pursue European reforms,” said Landsbergis, who also noted that the summit in Brussels on 15 December would be a great opportunity to crystallize the long-term goals of the Eastern Partnership policy.
Lithuania's Foreign Minister highlighted the need to take into account the achievements of our eastern partners and the readiness of the associated trio — Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine — to cooperate more closely with the EU.
“We must send a clear message to our partners that by implementing the necessary reforms they are approaching the EU, its standards and values. We also need to invest more into our political association with the associated partners and their economic integration with the EU's internal market. It is important for the eastern partners’ societies to be able to feel and see the results of cooperation with the EU in their daily lives," said the Foreign Minister, who also noted that we should not forget about the strengthening of our partners' resilience, especially in the field of hybrid and cyber threats.
As regards the situation on the border with Belarus and irregular migration, Lithuania's Foreign Minister said that the hybrid attack against the EU continued and the situation remained tense.
“Belarus keeps organizing illegal border crossings at Europe's external borders, concluding agreements on new air routes from third countries, and easing entry requirements for third-country nationals traveling to Belarus. Belarus also conducts a well-organized disinformation campaign aimed at discrediting the EU. Thus, it is crucial for the EU as a whole to agree on effective ways to respond to the instrumentalization of migration and hybrid attacks,” said the Foreign Minister, who also proposed reinforcing the EU’s legal framework and the protection of the EU’s external borders.
According to Landsbergis, the hybrid attack by the Belarusian regime against the EU gives us a serious reason for declaring the airspace over Belarus a no-fly zone to keep commercial civilian planes out of it.