Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, who arrived in Tbilisi on April 27, today concluded his three-day-long working visit to Georgia.
During his concluding press conference, FM Landsbergis said Lithuania will condemn Russia’s “aggressive steps of ‘borderization’” and military presence in Georgia’s occupied regions “in all available formats.” He called on Moscow “to immediately release Georgian citizens, fully obey 2008 Ceasefire Agreement as well as the European Human Rights Court’s decision of January 21, 2021.”
The Lithuanian Foreign Minister noted that “closer regional cooperation between South Caucasus countries is ever more important,” given the changing political environment stemming from Russia’s increased presence. He added that Tbilisi can “present itself as a regional center for cooperation on pandemic-related initiatives, trade, common infrastructure projects, as well as deepening the relationship with the EU.”
Touching on the EU-brokered April 19 deal, FM Landsbergis said that “the agreement is not a finish line,” stressing that “addressing politicized justice, ambitious electoral and judicial reforms, as well as power-sharing in the Parliament” remain to be implemented. “And let me state very clearly: the April 19 agreement must be implemented, without any deviation and in its entirety,” he highlighted.
FM Landsbergis also encouraged imprisoned United National Movement Chairperson Nika Melia “to consider taking the guarantees offered by European political interlocutors” for his release and called on all political parties and elected MPs to join the EU-brokered agreement. He said this would hasten the deal’s implementation, improve its monitoring, and demonstrate political parties’ commitment to Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic course.
FM @GLandsbergis: Visited the Administrative Boundary Line at #Odzisi area. Witnessed continuous illegal borderization and heavy military investment by Russia. Strong support to @EUMM work. Call on Russia to stop undermining #Georgia's 🇬🇪 territorial integrity and sovereignty. pic.twitter.com/jRBeuUhkW5
— Lithuania MFA (@LithuaniaMFA) April 29, 2021
Earlier today, the Lithuanian FM visited Odzisi village, located adjacent to the Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia occupation line, where European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) representatives briefed him about the situation on the ground.
During his visit to the Georgian capital, Foreign Minister Landsbergis met with his Georgian colleague David Zalkaliani, President Salome Zurabishvili, Parliament Speaker Kakha Kuchava, and Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. He also had a discussion with opposition leaders yesterday. From Tbilisi, the top Lithuanian diplomat departed for Azerbaijan.