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Weekend Reads Emmanuel Macron in Lithuania for a state visit which will take him to neighboring Latvia

03:05  28 september  2020
03:05  28 september  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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Country’s foreign minister attacks western ‘interference’, as Emmanuel Macron says president Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Belarus since the elections, which opposition On Friday, EU Baltic states Lithuania , Latvia and Estonia expanded their own sanctions against Belarus.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Belarus’s leader Alexander Lukashenko has to step down, in comments to a French weekly published on Sunday. “It’s clear he has to go,” he told Le Journal du Dimanche, speaking days after the European Union refused to recognise Lukashenko as the country’s

Le président français Emmanuel Macron arrive en Lituanie ce lundi en fin de journée pour une visite d’Etat qui l’amènera jusqu’en Lettonie voisine d’où il repartira mercredi. © Gonzalo Fuentes / Pool via AP French President Emmanuel Macron arrives in Lithuania this Monday at the end of the day for a state visit which will bring it to neighboring Latvia from where it will leave on Wednesday.

At the start of his five-year term, Emmanuel Macron announced that he would visit each of the member states of the European Union. He therefore keeps his promise and arrives in Lithuania at the end of the day on Monday for a state visit that will take him to neighboring Latvia from where he will leave on Wednesday. An event for the region.

With our correspondent in Vilnius, Marielle Vitureau

The last time Lithuania saw a French president strolling in the streets of Vilnius, it was Jacques Chirac in 2001. Nineteen years later, Emmanuel Macron will visit a whole different Lithuania. A country now a member of the European Union and NATO, where French soldiers are stationed as part of the multinational battalion and which is committed to democracy in neighboring countries.

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During his state visit , Macron made a bid to keep the Iranian nuclear accord alive while advocating for an increased Western role in Syria. We’ve done a big favor to neighboring countries, frankly, but we’ve also done a favor for our country. With that being said, Emmanuel and myself have discussed

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The geopolitical questions of the moment will also be at the heart of the discussions between the two presidents. On Russia, Paris and Vilnius make the same observation, but the approach is radically different. Lithuanian intellectuals launched an address to President Macron asking him to commit to a democratic and free Belarus. A meeting with Belarusian opponent Svetlana Tikahnovskaia in Vilnius has not yet been confirmed.

► To read also: Belarus: for Emmanuel Macron, "it is clear that Lukashenko must leave"

His Baltic interlocutors will talk with him about disinformation and cybersecurity, important subjects in the region. But like his predecessor did, the French president will also wander the streets of Vilnius, looking up towards the city's many baroque spiers.

Emmanuel Macron concludes his visit to Lithuania at the Rukla military base .
© REUTERS / Ints Kalnins Emmanuel Macron visits French troops from the NATO Reinforced Forward Presence Battle Group in Rukla, Lithuania, September 29, 2020 Emmanuel Macron ended his visit to Lithuania at the Rukla military base. There he met the 300 French soldiers who have served since the summer and for 6 months in the multinational NATO battalion present in Lithuania since 2017. Military cooperation between the two countries is sustained.

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