lørdag 18. desember 2021

Lithuania to ask European leaders for help against China after diplomats pull out

Lithuania is to ask European leaders for help against Chinese pressure after the Vilnius delegation and its dependents left China in a hasty departure and amid denials from Beijing there were concerns for Lithuanian diplomats’ safety. China downgraded its diplomatic ties with Lithuania last month after the opening of a representative office by Taiwan in Vilnius under its own name.

Lithuania’s diplomatic delegation to China left the country on Wednesday in a hastily arranged exit, and a diplomatic source familiar with the situation called their departure a response to “intimidation”. China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that concerns over the safety of Lithuanian diplomats in China were groundless. An advisor to Lithuania’s president later told the Lithuanian public broadcaster that the leader of the Baltic state will ask European counterparts for help.

“The president will speak with the EU leaders about the pressure we face, we think this will lead to a discussion how the EU and particularly European Commission could help Lithuania in this matter,” Asta Skaisgiryte said.