Lithuanian foreign minister says Putin and Russian regime must be removed to stop 'warmongering'

Washington Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said the removal of not only Vladimir Putin, but the entire regime that supports him, is necessary to stop Russia’swarmongeringand predicted the Kremlin leader will become increasingly erratic as his battlefield losses grow in Ukraine.

Speaking to CNN in Washington on Tuesday, Landsbergis also said his nation is seeking a permanent US troop presence, llamándolo “the biggest deterrent to an aggressor like Russia,” as well as fortified support from NATO at next month’s leaderssummit in Madrid.
Lithuania has been a strong supporter of Ukraine since the start of the war more than two months ago and has pushed for a robust response to counter Russia, becoming the first country in the European Union to stop Russian gas imports.
    Landsbergis said the United States and European allies have thus far been focused on theirtactical approachto the war in Ukraine, responding to the developments on the ground.
      sin embargo, the foreign minister stressed that they also need to think strategically about the longer-termand until Putin and his enablers are gone, the world needs to be prepared that Russiamight war again, and not excluding NATO countries.
        There are countries that are expecting that we just have to wait it out and kind of wait for the war to be over and then we’ll get back to the business as usual,” Landsbergis said, who argued thatRussia is out of the civilized world orderthey no longer belong in this.
        Russia’s warmongering state will be over when the regime is over in Russia. That’s the only way that we see it,” él dijo.
          Landsbergis did not suggest the West should take concrete action to remove Putin from power and acknowledged thatit might take quite some time for it to change, because we don’t have any active means to change it. So it needs to change from within.
          es más, Landsbergis explained it would not be enough just for Putin to no longer lead Russia becauseit’s a whole system.
          Putin might be sick, he might be pushed aside by his inner circlewho’s probably quite unhappy about the losses in the battlefieldbut that doesn’t mean that the regime will change or its attitude, the war mongering attitude will change,” él dijo, saying it was reminiscent of Nazi Germany.
          Landsbergis told CNN that Putin’s Victory Day speech on Monday suggested there may be discontent among that inner circle about Russia’s failures in the war, saying it wasfascinatingthat the Russian Presidenttried to explainwhy he started the war in those remarks.
          Who he is explaining it to? His public? Bien, they don’t need explanation,” the foreign minister said, noting the general Russian public’s approval of the invasion. “Us? Sabes, we don’t believe him. quiero decir, we know the facts, sabes, we knew them all along.
          So my guess would be that he’s explaining it to his circlepeople who might lose trust in him. So he has to rally them that this was a good decision,” Landsbergis said.
          The top Lithuanian diplomat predicted that Putinwill become more and more paranoid as to who he can trust, and he will feel that there is more and more discontent growing around him due to the losses on the battlefield, and that might make his movesespecially within the (inner) circlemore erratic.
          Such erratic behavior could lead him to strike a NATO country, which is whyNATO’s decisions are so vital to countries like Lithuania” — one of the geographically closest NATO nations to Russia.
          We have to know that we are protected,” Landsbergis said.
          Landsbergis told CNN that addressing such security concerns was a key topic of his meeting with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Monday in Washington, and will be a focus of discussions with the NATO leaders discuss the eastern flank at the Madrid summit in June.
          Landsbergis said Lithuania wants a permanent troop presence on theSuwalki corridor” — which sits on Lithuanian-Polish border and links Belarus to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad in the Balticsa permanent US troop presence, and the possibility for allies to send a brigade-level deployment. Landsbergis also said Lithuania seeks integrated air defense capabilities, similar to Israel’s Iron Dome.
          Landsbergis told CNN that his country hasn’t gotten a clear answer from Washington about where it stands on a permanent US troop presence, but hopes there will be consensus when NATO meets next month.
          Ahead of that summit, Landsbergis said it was important that the world face thelooming food crisisas a result of the war, llamándolo “a huge problem that’s just beginning to reveal itself.
          This is also where this global alliance needs to put a lot of effort,” él dijo.
          One of the things that could be done, and I think that the main thing that should be done, is providing a possibility for Ukrainians to export their wheat and corn through Odesa port and providing a security corridor if need be. And that could be done by the countries who are affected by the food crisistake Egypt,” Landsbergis told CNN.
            He said he did not foresee NATO itself playing a role in providing a security corridor, pero “I would not exclude the fact that maybe some of the NATO countries would take part in this, together with broader allies, with the countries who are directly affected by this.
            That because if you see the list of the countries who were buying food products from Ukraine, and who are now in the vulnerable position, so take Turkey, take Egypt, even Iranand I don’t expect that Iran would be joining the effortstill there are tens of millions people who will be in a vulnerable state, and some of them will be suffering because of the food prices and shortages.

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