Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda Before Their Meeting
PRESIDENT NAUSEDA: (Inaudible.) Mr. Secretary, appreciate your visit to Vilnius. Thankful for support of President Biden and you personally, Secretary, extend to Lithuania. Always good to talk to a closest friend and ally. I hope that the leaders of the Baltic countries will meet President Biden later this year to mark the 100th-year anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the United States and Lithuania. And I think it will be very a very good opportunity to debut our U.S.-Baltic charter.
Thank you also for your leadership in uniting the world and for heavy support you bring. Unfortunately, worsening security situation in the Baltic region is of great concern to – on all of us and around the globe. Russia’s reckless aggression against Ukraine once again proves that it is a long-term threat to the European security, the security of the entire alliance, no matter how and when the war in Ukraine ends. Furthermore, the fact of obstruction of Belarus and Russia is an additional very dangerous factor for us, for the region. And probably this is a very good opportunity to rethink, rethink the alliance response, alliance defense plans, procedures. And I’m happy to conclude that this process is underway.
I must say that, Antony, deterrence is no longer enough, and we need more defense here (inaudible), because otherwise it will be too late here, Mr. Secretary. Putin will not stop in Ukraine; he will not stop. It is our collective duty and obligation to help (inaudible) Ukrainians live all peace available by saying: all I need and need, all needs – if you want to avoid the third world war. The choice is in our hands. Thank you.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Mr. President, thank you very much. Thank you for receiving us today. Thank you for the historic partnership between our countries that, indeed, goes back a hundred years (inaudible) the extraordinary ups and downs (inaudible). But throughout, we’ve been together, and we remain together in this moment, this a moment of tremendous challenge as a result of Russia’s unprovoked, unwarranted, premediated aggression against Ukraine, but also along with extraordinary solidarity. We have seen countries throughout Europe, across the Atlantic, and, indeed, around the world come together in condemnation of Russia’s aggression and its support for Ukraine. We’ve seen the alliance that we are both (inaudible) come together, not only in support of Ukraine, but also in reaffirmation of our common (inaudible) to Article 5, (inaudible) commitment that President Biden feels absolutely is sacrosanct. An attack on one is an attack on all. The United States, with all allies and partners, will defend every – every inch of NATO territory should it come under attack, and there should be no doubt about that on anyone’s mind.
To your point, we have a moment where not only is the solidarity necessary, but it’s also important to think (inaudible) how you approach our common (inaudible) – through NATO, together in our partnership – and that work is being done (inaudible). But meanwhile, the most urgent matter is supporting our friends in Ukraine against this aggression. Increasing pressure on Russia to stop this war of aggression – and doing everything we can (inaudible) to strengthen our alliance and ensure that it’s prepared for anything. NATO has no aggressive intent, does not to seek out conflict, has never sought conflict, but we will always be prepared (inaudible). Thank you. (Inaudible) talking about these things in more detail. Thank you.