Ireland and Lithuania address fight against COVID-19 and post-Brexit landscape
Press release04 February 2021
Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne TD held a virtual meeting with his Lithuanian counterpart Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Arnoldas Pranckevičius, to address two key issues for both countries - the pandemic and the new situation following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
Regarding COVID-19, the two Ministers addressed the situation of the pandemic in their respective countries and the European response. Minister Byrne said “I strongly support the European vaccination programme, but I stress the need to speed up the supply of vaccinations, as we in Ireland are using up our supply as quickly as we get it”.
On the subject of Brexit, Minister Byrne thanked Lithuania for their solidarity during the Brexit negotiations culminating in the Trade and Co-operation Agreement. “This was a necessary agreement, which required a tremendous amount of effort and negotiation and we thank Lithuania for your solidarity throughout the process” he said.
The Ministers exchanged viewpoints on the Brexit Adjustment Reserve, the Multiannual Financial Framework and Ireland’s priorities for the United Nations Security Council term.
The Ministers also expressed their concern with the ongoing situation in Belarus and Russia, particularly the imprisoning of Mr Alexei Navalny. The Ministers agreed that the EU needs to take a firm stance on the issue and agreed to examine possible further EU actions.
Both Ministers acknowledged the historically strong links between their two countries. With over 36,000 Lithuanian nationals living in Ireland, Minister Byrne extended an invitation to Vice-Minister Pranckevičius to come to Ireland as soon as it is safe to do so.