Government of the Republic of Lithuania

06/03/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/03/2021 12:56

Prime Minister: the European Parliament’s voice must be heard in the defence of human rights

In Brussels, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė has met with President of the European Parliament David Sassoli and Chair of the Group of the European People's Party in the European Parliament Manfred Weber, and has discussed the European Parliament's positions on topical matters.

The Head of Government has emphasised that Lithuania strongly supports the European Parliament's principled position ​​on defending the rule of law and values ​​of the European Union in foreign policy towards Russia, Belarus, and China.

According to Prime Minister Šimonytė, there is no doubt that the European Parliament will maintain its principled stance in defending human rights in non-democratic states, especially in the EU's neighbourhood.

The meetings have devoted special attention to Belarus. The Head of Government has underlined that the actions of force structures of Belarus in the forced landing in Minsk of a plane flying from Athens to Vilnius had proved that the opposition, civil society, and independent media, which had fled to the West, are not safe at present. Therefore, active support for the civil society in Russia and Belarus is further needed.

Prime Minister Šimonytė has thanked President of the European Parliament Sassoli for the dialogue with Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.

The meeting has also discussed the pandemic management in the EU. It has been noted that the European Parliament had played a key role in preparing a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lithuania has consistently supported a coordinated supply of vaccines for Europe, and is ready to share vaccines with countries in need.