We, the Speakers of the Parliaments/Chambers of Deputies of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, gathering in Prague on March 30th 2022 to mark the 100th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations between the Czech Republic and the three Baltic States, issue the following
- We underline the importance of the relationship between the Czech Republic and the three Baltic states that were formalized as full-fledged diplomatic relations on January 5th 1922 and have since developed at multiple levels contributing to the consolidation of our ties in all fields, including security, economy and culture.
- We acknowledge that the new chapter of the relationship started with the collapse of the Soviet hegemony in Central and Eastern Europe at the end of 1980s, a moment symbolized by the Velvet revolution in the Czech Republic and the Singing Revolutions and the Baltic Human Chain in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
- The era that commenced with the victory of democracy in our region opened immense opportunities for all our nations as we began our joint journey back to the community of free and democratic nations.
- We consider our accession to the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as the most important milestones on this journey that have contributed to the security, stability and prosperity of the whole Europe. We are convinced that these organizations should keep their doors open for all European nations that share the same values and principles, and actively support the enlargement process as a means of consolidating peace, security and prosperity on the European continent.
- The NATO presence in the Baltic region contributes to our collective security and in particular, reinforces the security of the eastern flank of the Alliance. We acknowledge the active participation of the Czech armed forces including the Air Policing. The next Czech Air Force mission will start on April 1st We however acknowledge the need to further expand NATO’s collective presence on the eastern flank, and will work together to achieve this goal.
- We emphasize the importance of our joint long-term effort in support of freedom and democracy beyond our borders, as the authoritarian regimes never ceased to threaten or directly put down the democratic aspirations of the peoples in our immediate neighbourhood. We will continue supporting these democratic aspirations and reforms through our national programs and regional formations.
- We consider the current brutal, barbaric and unprovoked aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine as the most serious violation of international law. The Russian attacks against the civilian population and objects including hospitals constitute war crimes. Those responsible must be brought to justice.
- We join the international community in strongly condemning the Russian aggression against Ukraine and highlight the importance of the united and coordinated response by the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other allies. The sanctions already introduced should be further expanded. The reprehensible role of Lukashenka and his regime in the aggression must not be ignored.
- We urge the international community to take all necessary steps to defend the international order including the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity. In this context, we express our concern regarding the statements of China related to the war in Ukraine. We also reject China’s political and economic pressure on the EU member states, including Lithuania.
- We believe that the supplies of military material to Ukraine play a crucial role in thwarting the Russian military offensive and should therefore continue and increase together with all forms of economic and humanitarian assistance.
- We emphasize the need to provide all necessary assistance to the Ukrainian refugees. The international community, the EU and its member states should support the host states that are most affected by the refugee influx.
- We reiterate that the Ukrainians are defending not only their own country but also the democratic values on which current European security architecture and the European way of life are built. We support the Ukrainian EU membership aspiration. The candidate status should be granted to Ukraine as soon as possible.
- We also believe that sanctions, steps towards international isolation of Russia and other appropriate measures should remain in place until the Russian Federation stops its aggression, withdraws its troops from Ukraine, restores the sovereignty of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.
- We strongly condemn the Russia´s threats to use the weapons of mass destruction as highly irresponsible. We also reject all false narratives and fabricated lies spread by the Russian Federation with the aim to undermine the legitimacy of the Ukrainian statehood and justify the aggression.
- We commend the courage of all those Russian people, companies and organizations that speak the truth and condemn the Russian war in Ukraine despite the regime’s brutal repression against free speech and other human rights.
- We reiterate our belief in peaceful coexistence among nations and urge the Russian Federation to immediately stop all hostilities and unjustified territorial and other claims. We recall Russia’s obligations under the international treaties to which it is a signatory.
- We declare the will of our countries to continue in the effort towards victory of peace, security, prosperity and democracy in Europe.