Fri, 18 Jun 2021

WARSAW, Poland: A defiant Lithuanian president said earlier this week that his country would never accept Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine or Moscow's military pressure on eastern Ukraine, as well as the Kremlin's attempts to influence Belarus.

"Lithuania will never recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea and will be taking steps toward ending the actual occupation of part of eastern Ukraine," President Gitanas Nauseda said.

"Whatever happens, we cannot allow Ukraine to slide back into the past."

Nauseda was in Warsaw addressing a meeting to honor the 230th anniversary of Poland and Lithuania signing their joint constitution, Europe's first written democratic document.

Also present were Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the presidents of Latvia and Estonia, each being countries bordering Russia and Belarus.

He also said Lithuania will never allow Belarus to be influenced by Moscow.

"There is no room in the Europe of the 21st century for new areas of influence that negate the sovereignty of independent countries," Nauseda said.

At the time of their signing of the constitution, Poland and Lithuania were one state.

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