Linas Antanas Linkevičius
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
13 December 2012
|Prime Minister||Algirdas Butkevičius
|Preceded by||Audronius Ažubalis|
|Minister of National Defence|
26 October 2000 – 14 December 2004
|Prime Minister||Rolandas Paksas
Eugenijus Gentvilas (Acting)
|Preceded by||Česlovas Stankevičius|
|Succeeded by||Gediminas Kirkilas|
28 October 1993 – 27 November 1996
|Prime Minister||Adolfas Šleževičius
|Preceded by||Audrius Butkevičius|
|Succeeded by||Česlovas Stankevičius|
6 January 1961 |
Vilnius, Soviet Union
|Political party||Social Democratic Party|
|Alma mater||Kaunas University of Technology|
Linas Antanas Linkevičius (born 6 January 1961) is a Lithuanian politician of the Social Democratic Party.
Linkevičius served as minister of National Defence from 1993 to 1996 and from 2000 to 2004. He was the Lithuanian Permanent Representative to NATO from 2005 until 2011. In December 2012 he was appointed minister of Foreign Affairs.
Throughout his term as foreign minister, Linkevičius has corroborated Lithuania's status within many international and multilateral entities and organizations, including The UN, NATO, The EU. He managed to establish strong personal ties with prominent international leaders like Laurent Fabius, Angela Merkel and Shimon Peres, whom he invited to be an advisor to the project of The Jewish Memorial Center in Vilnius, on the site of the Great Synagogue of Vilna.
He is known to be a partisan of international collaboration in fields like science, sport and the arts, in order to strengthen the image of Lithuania and to enhance its global standpoint.
Views on Russia
Linkevičius has been a constant opponent within the European Union and NATO of compromises with Russia over Ukraine. When measures to re-engage Russia were discussed in Brussels, in January 2015, he strongly objected. "I do not think we should think how to re-engage; Russia should think how to re-engage . . . I see no reason why we should invent something," he was quoted. (Financial Times, January 20, 2015)
"We can't trust a single word of the Russian leadership. [Russia's] statements are worthless," he was quoted as saying in a public speech in March 2015, scolding some of his European Union colleagues for being detached from "reality" in seeking to soften or unroll some of the sanctions against Russia. (Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2015)
In a newspaper column, in June 2015, Linkevičius warned Lithuania's NATO partners against regression to a mid-Cold War-like détente with Russia, as the one experienced in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Russia, he wrote, no longer poses "a serious alternative to Western liberal democracy", and its adversarial relations with the rest of Europe are "just a Kremlin construct, invented by modern Russia to cover failures of reform."(Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2015)
Referring to Lithuania as a "frontline state" with Russia, he urged in that column that "NATO’s capabilities should be based on sober threat analyses, not illusions. Anything that the Kremlin perceives as weakness will encourage it to press ahead."
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