Transatlantic ties have no alternative, Lithuanian president says
"According to the head of state, transatlantic relations have no other alternative. A strong connection between the two coasts of the Atlantic is the basis for common security of the United State and the whole of Europe," the presidential press service said in a statement.
"Therefore, it is important to overcome rising tensions, refrain from unilateral decisions and meet commitments to bolster security, increase defense spending, effectively modernize armed forces and infrastructure and implement decisions made by NATO leaders," the statement said.
On Wednesday, the Lithuanian president met with participants of an international conference "Restoring European and Transatlantic Resilience", initiated by former Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus.
EU-US relations have been tense lately amid trade disagreements as Brussels wants to protect EU companies from Washington's sanctions, and also because of United States' decision in May to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.
According to the presidential office, a lot of attention was given to Ukraine during the Wednesday meeting. The Lithuanian president said that hostile forces are testing hybrid war scenarios in this country, which later turn into aggressive attacks against Western countries' democratic processes.
Grybauskaitė said Ukraine needs help as it's not only fighting for its right to take the transatlantic integration path but is also defending Western democratic values.
The war in eastern Ukraine, where government forces are fighting pro-Russian separatists, has cost the lives of over 10,000 people over more than four years. Russia also annexed Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula in 2014.
Lithuania is hosting the international conference for a second time. This year, guests include U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt D. Volker, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, Elmar Brok, chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, politicians and experts from Germany, France, Georgia, Moldova, Poland, Russia and other countries.