During a working trip to the Republic of Lithuania, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba held several bilateral meetings with Lithuanian officials and took part in the commemorative events.
In particular, during a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius, among the topics for discussion were the progress of cooperation between Ukraine and Lithuania as well as the projects Lithuania’s assistance to Ukraine. The state, which strongly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing aggression, provides substantial support to Ukraine: both in strengthening the Armed Forces and in rebuilding Donbas, in projects in education and culture. Linas Linkevičius emphasized that Lithuania will continue to support reforms in Ukraine both within the EU and in the bilateral format.
Lithuania will host the next, Fourth International Ukraine Reform Conference in July 2020. It was Linas Linkevičius who, during the Third International Ukraine Reform Conference, held in Toronto (Canada) in the summer, proposed President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy the holding of the next conference in Vilnius. The preparation of the conference is coordinated by the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. The parties discussed the plan of preparatory activities "on the way towards Vilnius" in the winter and spring of 2020 (in Kyiv - an event with the participation of NGOs, in Brussels - a discussion of possible topics and results of the conference). "This conference will be a strong base for further support for reforms in Ukraine. We will hold this conference not for the sake of just the conference, but to yield concrete results," Dmytro Kuleba stressed.
At a meeting with Speaker Seimas of Lithuania Viktoras Pranckietis, Dmytro Kuleba expressed gratitude for the consultations on reforms in Ukraine and the development of a "New European Plan for Ukraine". With the support of Lithuania, a number of infrastructure projects have also been implemented in Ukraine, in particular, repairing a school in Avdiivka. Moreover, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine thanked the Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament for supporting Ukraine at the international level. At a recent European Conference of Presidents of Parliament in Strasbourg, Viktoras Pranckietis strongly condemned Russia's actions against Ukraine, in response to which the majority of members of the Russian delegation left the assembly hall. During 2018-2019, the Seimas of Lithuania has approved 8 resolutions and appeals in support of Ukraine in the context of the ongoing Russian aggression in Crimea, Donbas, in the Black and Azov Seas, the illegal "passportization" of Ukrainian citizens.
Dmytro Kuleba also visited the NATO Energy Security Center of Excellence (ENSEC) and the National Cyber Security Center of Lithuania. At the meeting with the Director of the Energy Security Center, Romualdas Petkevicius, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine tackled active practical cooperation and completion of the process of Ukraine's accession to the Center. The accession process is ongoing, a technical agreement has almost been negotiated with all NATO Center countries.
Apart from that, the parties discussed the preparation for the holding in October 2020 of a joint NATO exercise in Odesa on resilience in the light of hybrid threats to critical infrastructure in the Black Sea region. The NATO exercise is organized by ENSEC. "We welcome the high level of practical cooperation of ENSEC with the Ukrainian authorities. We appreciate the Centre's contribution to the preparation of the NATO-Ukraine Joint Exercise CORE 2020. Considering the rather positive experience of cooperation in organizing such events, we believe that this event will be successful and useful for both the NATO and Ukraine," said Dmitry Kuleba.