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Lithuanian foreign minister urges EU to drop the phrase 'supporting Ukraine as long as it takes'

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 31, 2023 3:13 PM 1 min read
Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis talks to media prior to an EU Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting on May 22, 2023, in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
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European countries should stop saying that they will "support Ukraine for as long as it takes" and plan for a Ukrainian victory, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Aug. 31.

"Supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes" should be replaced by "supporting Ukraine to its victory," he explained.

Landsbergis added that "if we are unable to say this, it is because there are other options in our mind, and the only other option is Putin's victory."

This scenario would spell a disaster "not just for my country," the minister warned, but for the European Union and areas beyond, such as the Black Sea.

European countries must therefore be more specific and open about supporting Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion, Landsbergis believes.

"We have to be with Ukraine until Ukrainian victory," he said, adding that "we want this to happen as soon as possible, not 'whenever'."

Landsbergis made the comments upon arrival at the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Toledo, Spain.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is also attending the meeting, following visits to France and Czech Republic earlier this week.  

Lithuania is one of Ukraine's strongest allies. President Gitanas Nausėda made an official visit to Kyiv for its Independence Day celebrations on Aug. 24.

Vilnius has supplied Ukraine with more than half a billion euros in military support since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion, according to Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas.

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