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Relations between Lithuania and North Macedonia discussed

Date

2021 04 23

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Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė has met with Nikola Dimitrov, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia, to discuss the country’s EU integration process and bilateral relations.
   
‘Lithuania consistently supports North Macedonia’s aspirations to join the European Union, and wishes it a successful political dialogue. We are ready to continue to share our experience of the EU integration, strategic communication, cyber security, and other areas. Our bilateral relations are good and friendly, yet could be more active in the fields of economy, culture, higher education, and research,’ said the Prime Minister.

The Head of Government has welcomed active cooperation in the implementation of Twinning and Horizon 2020 projects. The Deputy Prime Minister of North Macedonia has emphasised that Lithuania’s expert assistance is highly appreciated and extremely useful in getting ready for the EU membership.

On security and defence priorities, it has been stressed that North Macedonia is making a significant contribution to the Euro-Atlantic security. According to Šimonytė, NATO’s door should be open to all partners – Georgia, Ukraine, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Lithuania welcomes North Macedonia’s approach to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s prospects related to Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

The meeting has stressed that Russia remains the biggest threat to Euro-Atlantic security. Russia’s political and military influence in Belarus is growing. The situation in Crimea and at the Ukrainian border is also deteriorating; hence, sanctions against Russia have to be maintained.

On the pandemic, it has been underlined that the irregular supply of vaccines is a major challenge currently facing the EU, which hampers the smooth implementation of the vaccination strategy. A coordinated EU response to COVID-19 and assistance to the immediate neighbours, in particular the Western Balkans and the neighbourhood countries, are being discussed. The EU aims to facilitate the availability of the vaccine worldwide, including through contributions to the COVAX facility.