09.14.21

Durbin Meets With Lithuanian Delegation, Discusses U.S. Support For Baltic States

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Co-Chair of the bipartisan Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus, today met with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis and visiting Lithuanian delegates including former Ambassador to the U.S. and current member of the Seimas MP ┼Żygimantas Pavilionis, current member of the Seimas MP Emanuelis Zingeris, and Ambassador Audra Plepyt?. The Lithuanian delegation shared a letter from Viktorija ?milyt?-Nielsen, the current Speaker of the Seimas, thanking Durbin for his advocacy on behalf of Lithuania and the Baltics.

During the meeting, Durbin discussed continued support for the Baltics as they face ongoing threats from Russia as it provokes and tests defenses in the region. The Lithuanian delegation also provided an update on the tensions between the Lithuanian government and Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko, who has weaponized the Lithuania-Belarus border in retaliation for sanctions placed on Belarus following last year’s stolen election and the brazen diversion of the Ryanair flight carrying dissident Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich, as well as aggressive Chinese response to Lithuania’s recent agreement to exchange diplomatic offices with Taiwan.   

“It was an honor to meet with Lithuanian leaders today and receive updates from the country my mother once called home,” said Durbin. “Thirty years after breaking free from the Soviets, Lithuania is a vibrant member of NATO, the European Union, and the community of democracies.  The U.S. will continue its strong partnership with Lithuania and its Baltic neighbors as they uphold democratic values amid Russian, Belarussian, and Chinese belligerence.”

A photo of the meeting is available here.

In 2017, Durbin traveled to Rukla, Lithuania, to visit the U.S. and German forces stationed there as part of the European Reassurance Initiative.

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