On 12 May H.E. Mr. Vidmantas Purlys, Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to the Kingdom of the Netherlands gave a very insightful lecture entitled ”The Baltics and the Russian war in Ukraine” at the Academisch Genootschap-AG ( Scientific Society) in Eindhoven.
During the lecture, Mr. Ambassador elaborated on the developments in Russia leading to the war, atrocities of the Russian war in Ukraine, the impact of the war as well as response towards Russia by the Western community in military, diplomatic and economic domains.
Mr. Ambassador pointed out that Russian political structure is based on force, superiority, humiliations and inhumanity, behavior typical of street gangs. This attitude applies also for Russian external politics. There is a clear discrepancy between the external image Russia tried to create, an impression that they follow international values, and the international agreements versus the real face of the system where no values apply.
Mr. Ambassador described brutality of Russian war relating to the book “Peter’s Empress” by a Lithuanian author K. Sabaliauskaitė in which she discussed the barbaric Russian way of waging wars. Russian war in Ukraine is a genocide, innocent people are murdered, burnt, women and young girls raped, bombing and looting is an every day reality.
He also addressed the ongoing propaganda aired by the Russian media which are strengthening hate feelings against Ukraine and the western countries and promote brutality against them. According to Russian propaganda Ukraine is not a country, Ukrainian is not a real language, Ukrainian elites must be removed and concentration camps and sterilization practices should be applied.
Mr. Ambassador stressed that the Baltic countries and the rest of Europe are in the same situation, facing the atrocities of the war brought to Europe by Putin and that Ukrainians are on the front line to defend our European values.
Furthermore, he pointed out the importance of the presence of the Dutch contingent NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Lithuania expressing his gratitude. He also pointed out that the expansion of NATO by Finland and Sweden is a fantastic development.
Mr. Purlys also elaborated on how Ukraine can be helped and what steps should be taken against Russia. He mentioned economic and political support as an important tool. Investing in Eastern flank and deploying substantially more troops to Eastern flank is of importance. Furthermore the reliance on Russian gas and oil must stop. Lithuania used to be 100% dependent on Russian resources and now it is the first country which does not import any Russian gas and oil.
Last but not least Mr. Ambassador pointed out that we have to strengthen our resilience to Russian propaganda as their exploit our freedom and use it as our weakness, giving here as an example actions of radical parties opposing EU.
The lecture was followed by questions from the audience following it personally or online.
In the audience there were Ms Ambassador Dita Purlienė, Mr Herman De Lange Honorary Consul of Lithuania in the Netherlands for the provinces of North Brabant, Zeeland, Utrecht and Gelderland with his wife, Mr. Bert van der Lingen Consul General in Antwerpen, former Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lithuania with his partner, Mr. Aloys Bruggeman Honorary Consul of Lithuania for the province of Limburg with his wife and many prominent members of the Eindhoven community.
H.E. Mr. Vidmantas Purlys:
Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
He studied sociology at Vilnius University ( Bachelor, 1993) and
political Sciences in Aarhus Institute of political Sciences ( 1994) and in Hungary, Central European University ( Master, 1998).
Before becoming member of the Lithuanian delegation negotiating accession to the EU and then Minister Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the EU, he was heading the Defence Planning Division of the Ministry of Defence.
Academisch Genootschap (AG) is a distingusihed society in the city of Eindhoven (Netherlands).
AG Eindhoven organizes a wide range of activities, from lectures and opinion and debate groups to guided tours etc. More information about AG is available here.