Lithuania's presidential hopeful spells out foreign policy vision

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-15 21:54:29|Editor: xuxin
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VILNIUS, March 15 (Xinhua) -- The European Union is crucially important for Lithuania, but the Baltic country should not turn away from other regions in its foreign policy, the frontrunner in Lithuania's presidential election Gitanas Nauseda said on Friday.

"The EU is very important on an institutional, political level. It is a huge market, which opens to Lithuania perfect possibilities to develop its exports. However, I would not welcome the situation if Lithuania's orientation towards the EU would mean turning away from the rest of the world," Nauseda was quoted as saying by local media after he presented his foreign policy vision at a discussion held by the Vilnius think tank Eastern Europe Studies Centre (EESC).

The Southeast Asian and African countries, as well as China, Latin America and the U.S. are the regions and countries that should not be underestimated, Nauseda underlined.

"I am in favor of talking with everybody who cares for talking, yet in dialogue we must maintain our principles," Nauseda said.

Lithuania's trade cooperation with China should be developed faster, he said.

"Economic cooperation with China must be developed further. As regards investments, they must be assessed by national security authorities, especially in the energy sector," Nauseda said.

The candidate said once elected his very first official presidential visit would take him to Poland as "bilateral relations need to be improved."

He also noted that Lithuania needs a dialogue with its eastern neighbors, Russia and Belarus: first of all for the sake of economic cooperation, and also in order to raise questions about human rights and reduce geopolitical tensions.

According to a poll commissioned by the local daily "Lietuvos rytas" and carried out by the pollster Vilmorus back in February, Nauseda was in the lead on the list of Lithuania's presidential candidates with 27.3 percent support. Former finance minister and MP Ingrida Simonyte ranked second with 20 percent, and the country's current Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis was third with 16 percent.

The presidential election will be held on May 12, and if necessary, a second round is scheduled for May 26.