Dalia Grybauskaitė, former president of Lithuania, has urged NATO and EU countries to switch into a “war mentality”.
The former European commissioner for financial programming and budget, and Trustee of Friends of Europe was speaking at Friends of Europe’s Peace, Security & Defence Summit.
The event took place in Brussels last Wednesday.
When asked about Ukraine’s membership to NATO, Dalia stated: “We have an enemy who knows and sees our hesitations. He knows how we feel and what we intend to do, and if he sees hesitation, he will attack and use this against us.”
She added, “President Putin will not give us time for the long term: reforms, investments, discussions. If we do not make these security decisions ourselves, he will make us make these decisions faster. (…) We do not have time for such kinds of discussions. Ukraine already earned its membership on the battleground; they are protecting all Europe from this aggressor, every day, with their blood and suffering.”
“We are still discussing.”
Similarly, Kyllike Sillaste-Elling, Undersecretary for Political Affairs at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called for coordinated action.
The official said, “When looking more widely at the European security, reconfiguration is inevitable: we are seeing a lot of signs of the situation changing.
“There cannot be any ‘business as usual’. The EU and NATO need to be the cornerstone of our security.
“Both organisations need to work together on making sure that we put an end to grey zones in Europe. Grey zones are a ‘green light’ to Putin, any kind of grey zone is an invitation for instability and aggression.”
On the need for further and faster action, James Appathurai, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), said: “You have windows of opportunity, and then they close. The Chinese and Russian narratives are extremely successful.”