Skvernelis starts: strikes against Grybauskaitė

Vytautas Bakas, Saulius Skvernelis, Rasa Kazėnienė

During his presentation of his electoral headquarters and programme, Prime Minister Saulus Skvernelis indirectly criticised actions related to Dalia Grybauskaitė‘s work and behaviour a number of times.

Firstly, he stated that decisions made before through individual laws impoverished the most vulnerable citizens and were signed by the president. "All these laws were signed by the Lithuanian president, not making use of the opportunity to defend the weakest members of our society, thus I will never sign under a budget, which is potentially anti-constitutional and will pre-program the decrease of social welfare, whether through pension, wage or social benefit cuts," S. Skvernelis said.

In terms of foreign policy, the PM pledged to focus on strategic partnership and "moving from personal, emotion-based foreign policy to foreign policy primarily ensuring and defending our national interests." This, according to him, would include seeking a bilateral cooperation format with the US and a bilateral meeting of the two countries' presidents.

S. Skvernelis also spoke negatively of Lithuania's decision to vote in favour of the UN resolution, which described US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

D. Grybauskaitė's foreign policy toward Russia and Belarus also faced criticism, with the candidate seeing no positive signals, which would allow to re-establish contacts with Russia, however at the same time, he was against "such extremes as we saw."

"I would not want to have such extremes as we saw, when one day you are hugging the Belarussian president and shaking hands with Putin, but after a time, Lithuania becomes the only country in the European Union, which does not have any political contact with the countries I mentioned," S. Skvernelis said.

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