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A ‘golden age’ that had lasted for ten years in the relations between Poland and Lithuania collapsed nearly overnight. The Baltic countries are not cooperating with each other. The European Union is failing to speak with one voice. Lithuania and the USA are now limited to third-level communication and Russia is in turn reverting to its old schemes of tsarist and imperialistic politics, except that it is using different methods now, reported.

This is how the former President Valdas Adamkus, who took part in the IQ Magazine discussion about the changes in Lithuanian foreign policy, perceives the geopolitical situation in Lithuania.

“Russian foreign policy, in my opinion, is clearly oriented towards renewing the Cold War. I see it as a revival and continuation of everything that had been accomplished in Soviet times. I believe that the new Russia is following the old tsarist and imperialistic politics, except that it is using different methods now. However, what concerns me most are the relations between the European Union (EU) and Russia. I am a strong supporter of the EU, but its relations with the eastern region are really worrying. Russia has taken a tough stance, but the EU is failing to speak with one voice. In view of this geopolitical situation, Lithuanian foreign policy is very complicated”, Adamkus says.

“In terms of relations with our neighbours, I am mostly concerned about Poland. Over the last ten years, we had built a ‘golden age’ between these countries – and I take pride in saying this, because I participated in each and every stage of the building of these relations. However, something has gone wrong, which, I think, is a result of our foreign policy perspective. What has happened to create this situation so suddenly, seemingly overnight? Poland is becoming a leading country in the region – it wants to join the club of the major states, and I do not blame them. Poland is very big; it has something to say, and Lithuania does not seem significant to the present-day Polish leaders. Perhaps this is one of the factors”, Adamkus wonders.

The U.S. Department of State Has Become Less Accessible to Lithuania
“Our foreign policy used to be sedately Western. Currently, however, the situation is changing – it has been changing for the last year or a year and a half, and it is not just us who have noticed that it is changing. Two days ago, I returned from the USA, where I spent about two weeks, during which I had a chance to experience a general approach towards our country demonstrated by the media and the Department of State. Without going into detail about how it felt at times, I can give a very simple example: access to the Department of State used to be much easier. We used to have access to the top strata, whereas now we are only speaking with, at best, third-rank officers”, the president states.

Adamkus does not think that the situation is tragic, but he believes that the details carry some significance too. The former leader of Lithuania says that he has also observed certain pressure from the EU to change our attitude towards our eastern neighbours, whereas the EU itself is failing to speak with one voice.