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Minister of Foreign Affairs

Linas Linkevičius

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Linas Linkevičius: We must and we can help Mariupol

Created: 2019.01.16 / Updated: 2019.01.16 09:43
      Linas Linkevičius: We must and we can help Mariupol
      Linas Linkevičius: We must and we can help Mariupol

      On 15 January, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius, who is visiting Ukraine together with his Estonian, Latvian and Polish counterparts, stressed that the Western community could not just passively observe Russia's actions in the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov.

      “We must demand that Russia should respect the freedom of navigation under international maritime law. The aggressive Russian action in the Kerch Strait and illegal actions in the Azov Sea are having significant negative effects on Ukraine and Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov,” said L. Linkevičius.

      Lithuania’s Foreign Minister noted that a decrease in import and export flows was caused by Russia’s arbitrary action in the Azov Sea and its ports. It has significantly reduced transshipment volumes in the ports of Berdyansk and Mariupol, while the international community has to contribute more actively to ensuring unhindered access to these Ukrainian ports and allowing freedom of navigation in the Sea of Azov.

      "People, who have suffered from the Russian aggression for 5 years, deserve our support: we must consistently and loudly declare that Russian actions are illegal and unjustified, and we have to aim at improving the situation in certain regions through concrete support," said L. Linkevičius.

      Lithuania has initiated this joint visit of the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Polish Foreign Ministers to Mariupol in order to remind the international community about the situation in the Sea of Azov, and to show solidarity with the inhabitants of Mariupol. Due to adverse weather,  the Foreign Ministers failed to arrive in Mariupol and held their meetings in Dnipro. They also visited the Mechnikov Regional Clinical Hospital.

      On the eve of 15 January, an ambulance vehicle with emergency medical equipment, which was donated to the military hospital in Mariupol by the Akmenė District Municipality and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, reached Mariupol successfully.

      Tonight, the Minister Linas Linkevičius, together with the Estonian and Polish Foreign Ministers, will meet with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in Kiev.

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