Sophie Wilmès speaks with Gabrielius Landsbergis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania

On Thursday 1 April, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès spoke with her counterpart Gabrielius Landsbergis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania. The two ministers reviewed the bilateral and regional cooperation, including between the Benelux countries and the Baltic States, of which they each hold the Presidency. Finally, the two ministers discussed several international issues on the European agenda, notably Belarus, China and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Belgium will soon celebrate the centenary of its diplomatic relations with Lithuania, whose independence Belgium recognized in 1922. Belgium upheld this historic decision in the decades following World War II and stood by the country when its independence was fully restored in 1991.

Our countries are united both by long-standing historical ties and by the European construction. The human chain of the Baltic Way, re-enacted in Brussels in 2019, remains a symbol of the unity of European peoples of today and tomorrow. Belgium actively supported Lithuania's accession to the EU and the NATO. Belgium's early contribution to strengthening deterrence and security in the Baltic region is demonstrated, for example, through the participation of our armed forces in the operation "Enhanced Forward Presence" and the NATO air policing mission.

Belgium has very good bilateral relations with Lithuania. Our two countries are important trading partners, especially through synergies in the transport, energy and port sectors. Minister Wilmès expressed the wish that these relations continue on this path in order to strengthen the cooperation and the exchanges between the two countries and their respective peoples in the years to come.