Gabrielius Landsbergis, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Photo of Judita Grigelyts (V).
The head of Lithuanian diplomacy, Gabrielius Landsbergis, says that he will reduce economic pressure. Beijing has started diplomatic coercion near Vilnius.
He raised the issue during an informal meeting of the European Union (EU) foreign ministers in Brussels.
today, during our meeting, I will have the opportunity to raise one more question on the new page of China’s coercion against Lithuania. For almost two years we suffered trade restrictions, economic pressure, now the situation is better, G. Landsbergis told journalists in Brussels.
Unfortunately, a new front has opened, we call it diplomatic coercion. Lithuania cannot operate in Beijing, because China has unilaterally reduced diplomatic relations with our country, thus restricting both countries’ travels and all diplomatic operations. I wanted to inform my colleagues about this during the meeting, added the head of Lithuanian diplomacy.
At the end of January, G. Landsbergis confirmed that the Chinese representative office stopped issuing visas to Lithuanian citizens from January 24. The minister then stated that there is no approach or period for which the issuing of travel documents is suspended.
Last November, the head of Lithuanian diplomacy told journalists that Vilnius and Beijing are officially talking about the normalization of diplomatic relations.
In 2021, China lifted its diplomatic representation in relations with Lithuania and imposed trade restrictions after Lithuania allowed Taiwan to open a representative office on behalf of the island.
Beijing supported Lithuania’s support for Taiwan to act as an independent state, it also restricted relations with Vilnius and blocked Lithuanian exports and imports.
Because of this, Brussels will apply to the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the beginning of 2022. After receiving a request from the European Commission (EC), at the end of January, the organization’s arbitral panel temporarily suspended the investigation into China’s trade restrictions on Lithuania.
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