Lithuania acts against common sense From left to right: Mr Linas Antanas LINKEVICIUS, Lithuanian Minister for Foreign Affairs; Mr Witold WASZCZYKOWSKI, Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs. Photo: The European Union

To put it mildly, the current system of international security and European security in particular doesn't work any longer. Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, that "European security is at risk unless a new arms control agreement is in force". Almost every European country admits this fact either. But it is far easier to admit than to take real actions. The international security will remain a dream unless a new system is developed.

It would seem there is nothing difficult to unite efforts and make a new effective system of international security. The first important step for the European security system, for example, could be a new or reviewed Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe. It would be a logical and reasonable step to improve the situation in the region. But not all the states are ready to agree with Steinmeier's statement.

On Monday, September 5 in an interview with DPA Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Antanas Linkevičius declared publicly, that Vilnius "founds the arms proposal for eastern Europe made by Frank-Walter Steinmeier, totally unacceptable." Does it mean that Lithuania is not interested in peace in the region and even more is going to increase the amount of weapons?

We have come to the disappointing conclusion: Lithuania relies on increasing the amount of weapon instead of improving it's quality. Vilnius is not ready to pay for advanced weapons. It can only take the surplus of old equipment and armament for a symbolic price. Such new offer as Frank-Walter Steinmeier has made doesn't coincide with Lithuanian financial policy in the military sphere at all. Lithuanian authorities should realize that increasing combat capability of Lithuanian armed forces due to the quantity is a dead end road.

Linkevičius also noted that "Lithuania's defense capabilities should be strengthened because there are gaps at certain positions." He expressed doubt that "now is the right time to discuss the issue of arms reduction." But it the right time! It is always time to make our life safer even if it is expensive for the country. Such tendency in Lithuanian politics leads to three mistakes simultaneously. Firstly, Lithuania excludes itself from the circle of states participating in the development of the new effective European security system. Secondly, Lithuania shows its inability to make right political choice. Thirdly, Vilnius acts illogically rejecting offers of key European political players.

Bu the way, acting to its detriment has long been the rule of the Lithuanian foreign policy.


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