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Lithuanian Defense Minister urges EU to recognize Russia as aggressor

Defense Minister of Lithuania Juozas Olekas believes that Europe must change the way it interacts with the Russian Federation

Lithuanian Defense Minister urges EU to recognize Russia as aggressor

Defense Minister of Lithuania Juozas Olekas urged the EU countries to recognize the Russian Federation as an aggressor country and called on NATO to actively form the forces of deterrence and defense. He stated this in Kyiv during the opening of the 15th International Week: NATO after the Wales Summit", Joinfo.ua reports.

"For more than a year Ukraine has been subjected to aggression, and the country is fighting not only for its own freedom and independence, but also for the safety of whole Europe … I believe that we must change the way we interact with the Russian Federation – it should be perceived as an aggressor. Europe must stand on a common position, otherwise the Russian Federation will continue its forcible policy," said Olekas.

"Russia uses active units of the armed forces on the territory of a foreign country … NATO should develop the forces of deterrence and defense," he said, adding that the annexation of Crimea was "a natural extension of imperialist behavior of Russia."

Olekas noted that official Moscow gambles on its economic power, and so it is important to apply sanctions against Russia.

The Minister of National Defence of Lithuania also noted that the NATO countries were going to assist Ukraine in reforming the security and defense sectors as the future of Europe was impossible without free and prosperous Ukraine.