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Ukraine: Lithuanian minister, sanctions needed,war must stop

Skuodis, Diplomatic mission in Taiwan respects One China policy

10 September, 13:22
(ANSA) - TRIESTE, 10 SET - 'The sanctions imposed on Russia are necessary' according to the Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications, Marius Skuodis. This is the case even in the face of a severe economic upheaval stemmed from the war and the energy crisis in the Baltic state, especially as its economy relies heavily on logistics: 'It produces about 13 percent of the country's GDP,' Skuodis explains. 'What harms us all is war - he claims -. The energy crisis is secondary to the aggression.

To solve the economic issues we need to stop the war. The only answer to this, for Europe and for all Western democratic states is to ensure that the rules-based system that benefits the whole global community is in place and it is respected. Authoritarian regimes are trying to undermine it.' Skuodis talks of multiple 'authoritarian regimes' not only due to the country's geographical vicinity to Russia and Belarus, but also because Lithuania is in the midst of a diplomatic row with China. The frictions emerged in reaction to the establishment of an informal diplomatic mission in Taiwan. A misunderstanding, according to Skuodis: 'This is about economic relations. We fully respect the One China policy. Nothing has changed - he explained -. We are only trying to develop economic links with the region. Every country has a right to choose any region to develop economic relations with. In this, we need to stick to the core principles of what we are trying to do.

Regrettably sometimes what businesses are trying to do is interpreted in the wrong way and with a lot of propaganda.' The biggest challenge at the moment for a country that is 'a country that is established as a logistics hub that connects North and South, and East and West' and whose companies 'operate throughout Europe' is 'of course the war in Ukraine' according to Skuodis. 'War together with the sanctions imposed on Russia have changed the entire logistics system in our region, Eastern Europe. Now we need to find alternative routes to ensure the flow of goods. It is crucial that business have alternatives in case cargo gets stuck somewhere in Europe. We need to come out of this crisis with more resilience'. A strengthening of railway connections, for the Lithuanian minister, 'is the definitive answer to the crisis. Firstly, it enables us to use more environmentally friendly means of transport, allowing us to reach our European environmental goals. Secondly, it allows to bring the cost down and thus to be more competitive; this will give rise to more opportunities. And in addition to all that, finally, it also addresses the challenges for road carriers; one for all the shortage of truck drivers.' 'All this will increase the resilience of the transport system of the European Union. This is something that my Italian counterpart, Enrico Giovannini, stresses a lot in Brussels, and I really support the idea that what this is what the European Commission should do: increase resilience and connectivity between regions. If something happens on one side of Europe and goods get stuck at the moment it is very difficult to find alternatives' he claimed in conclusion. (ANSA).

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