Chair: Ms. Smita Purushottam
A Lithuanian delegation comprising Mr. Eitvydas Bajarūnas, Ambassador-at-Large, Political Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, Ms. Diana Mickevičienė, Director in charge of Latin America, Africa, Asia and Pacific Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania and H.E Petras Simeliunas, Lithuanian Ambassador to India – visited IDSA and participated in an interaction with IDSA scholars on a range of issues of mutual interest including neighbourhood relations, regional issues concerning Afghanistan, terrorism, the Lisbon Treaty, the role of OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) in mediating on regional issues, the NATO mission on cyber security, Turkey, tackling Islamic fundamentalism and so on. Mr. Bajarūnas pointed that as the Tajik-Afghan borders are poorly protected, the answer to the problem lies in cooperation amongst all the interested international players. Lithuania has stationed its special forces in Afghanistan and has contributed 220 troops in the Regional Command Capital. It has contributed both financial and human resources and in the civilian sector and leads a provincial construction team.
Commenting on bilateral relations with Russia, Mr. Bajarūnas said that Russia is different from the Soviet Union and current Russia is different from former Russia. In recent times, Russia has re-set its relations with Poland and Norway, and expressed eagerness to cooperate on issues like Iran sanctions and the NATO cargo transit. He outlined the areas where the West was interacting with Russia.
The other issues that were touched upon included cyber security, the ballistic missile defence system, and tactical nuclear weapons. The overall security framework in Asia was discussed in the light of the recent developments in South Asia and Central Asia. At the end of this insightful interaction, it was emphasised that there was a need for all peace loving powers including EU member States to cooperate in stabilising the region.
Report prepared by Joyce Sabina Lobo, Research Assistant, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.