Russia and Lithuania could initiate the process of demilitarization in the Baltic Region, Lithuanian ex-president Rolandas Paksas said after a meeting with the Russian president in Moscow.
The Lithuanian official said he met Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday, and the Russian leader gave a positive response to his initiative. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that the meeting had taken place, but gave no details.
“Lithuania and [Russia’s Baltic exclave of] Kaliningrad could establish new, better relations, to launch disarmament and make stability reign in the land,” Paksas told reporters after returning from Moscow to Lithuania’s capital Vilnius.
According to Lithuania’s ex-leader, the Baltic demilitarization process could become “a pilot project that would demonstrate that states can cooperate successfully [on the issue of disarmament] and do it in a way which is totally different from everything that happened before.”
Paksas offered to take charge of the project.
“I’m ready to meet with heads of regional countries and win their support, ready to head to the United States to convince President Donald Trump, to persuade him that the two superpowers [US and Russia] can come to an agreement,” he said.
The Lithuanian ex-president said that his other goal was to convince Europe that isolating Russia would be non-constructive, and persuade European countries to engage in dialogue with Moscow.
“We can and we need to communicate with Russia. This would be sensible and wise,” he said.
Paksas has already explained his demilitarization initiative in an interview with Lithuania’s Vakaro zinios, saying that the demilitarized zone should include former Soviet republics of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Russia’s Kaliningrad Region.