Lithuanian PM wants better relations with Moscow
At a meeting with several of his country's ambassadors Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis made the case for taking a new direction in the policy towards the East. In doing so he sent the message - and not for the first time - that he wants to improve relations with Russia and thus deviate from President Dalia Grybauskaitė's course. Lithuania's press finds this inappropriate.
Careless and naive
The prime minister seems determined to ignore the threat in the East, 15min rails:
“With his strange approach in foreign policy the head of government is ignoring the very dangers it is his job to take care of. It would for example be interesting to know how the government plans to prevent Russia from interfering with next year's presidential election. The Lithuanian intelligence agency recently warned that this was a risk. Sweden, for instance, trains thousands of officials in methods for preventing the manipulation of parliamentary elections. ... In this context the prime minister's meeting with the ambassadors appears even odder.”
Just an election manoeuvre
The MPs Audronius Ažubalis and Laurynas Kasčiūnas also criticise the prime minister's solo approach in Delfi:
“The simplest explanation is that Saulius Skvernelis is preparing to run in the upcoming presidential elections. He wants to drum up support among those voters who favour pragmatic relations with Russia and for whom other values don't matter so much. ... Perhaps however this is about a bigger game and if Russia is able to exploit it, it will have won this game too - and thus achieve its goal. Our strict, principled foreign policy and strategy for stopping Russia would be compromised.”