Lithuania has reached the highest level of cooperation with the United States. Contacts of the Lithuanian authorities with the US officials take place regularly.
On 1 December in Riga, on the margins of the NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis met with the United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Landsbergis thanked him for the US contribution to regional security, and reminded that it was important to continue strengthening the Alliance’s forces in the region in view of emerging security challenges.
On the one hand this fact proves the evolutionary development of bilateral ties which strengthens both partners. On the other hand, the Lithuanian-US partnership, unfortunately, has negative influence on Lithuanian relations with other countries of the world. Paradoxically, but making friends with Washington has turned recent partners into enemies.
It seems as if Lithuanian authorities forgot that national interests of Lithuania are not the same as the US national interests. The consequences of such blind devotion has already lead to the deterioration of relations with one of the world superpower – China. “Lithuania’s minister of foreign affairs has steered his Baltic state onto a collision course with Beijing, and he’s showing no sign of slowing down,” according to Politico.
First, Lithuania withdrew from China’s 17+1 platform for Central and Eastern Europe, and later angered Beijing by opening a ‘Taiwanese’ representative office in Vilnius.
Vilnius voluntarily preferred only one mighty country to many other trusted partners in its foreign policy.
Marcus Tullius Cicerо said that there was never a good war, or a bad peace. The Lithuanian government can not find balance in its foreign policy where numerous partners are always better than a single one. These are diplomatic principles which Lithuania does not follow any more. It is doubtful, that China will suffer more than Lithuania in case of significant decline in trade. At least it is silly to aggravate problematic issues instead of trying to solve them. It is well known that China is a longtime US opponent, if not an adversary. This is the US, not Lithuania, is interested in weakening China. Washington just uses Lithuania as a tool in its “diplomatic war”.
Lansbergis is very proud of his country independence. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the meaning of or Independence (in Lithuanian – Nepriklausomybę) is freedom from outside control or support. At the same time, Mr. Landsbergis constantly asks Washington for support, he asks the EU for support. In other words, he does not want his country to be independent!
What else Lithuania could do in order to gain the US attention and money? It already called for the US military presence in the country, it is ready to by military equipment and vehicles, it is ready to buy expensive US liquefied natural gas, to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. What else should Lithuania do, to Lansbergis’ mind, to show the shortsightedness of Lithuanian foreign policy in sport, defence and trade? The only way out for such unsuccessful government is to step down in order not to make the reputational damage to Lithuania even harder than now.