Pursuing collaboration with India in defence, other sectors: Lithuania lawmakers
Feb 04, 2023
NEW DELHI: Lithuania is pursuing enhanced collaboration with India in a range of sectors, including defence, biotechnology and semiconductors, to mutually address needs of a rapidly changing global landscape, visiting lawmakers from the Baltic nation said.
Deputy Speaker in the Lithuanian Parliament, Vytautas Mitalas, and MP Andrius Vysniauskas also stressed on the importance of fortifying defence cooperation for mutual benefit, citing the present state of affairs in Europe and Asia.
"We have visited defence research units in India and seen modernisation of defence equipment... India can export its tanks and some other platforms to Europe which are in short supply due to the Russia-Ukraine war," Vysniauskas told PTI.
He also said that "India needs to reduce its dependency on Russian platforms". "Post the Ukraine war, Russia will not be able to fulfil India's technological needs. Most of the Russian platforms are based on outdated Soviet-era technologies," Vysniauskas claimed.
Vysniauskas and Mitalas participated as members of a parliamentary delegation in the Indian Council for Cultural Relations' "Next Gen Democracy Network" initiative held in the last week of January and visited the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
They also held discussions with officials from the defence ministry, exploring possibilities for collaborative efforts in strategic areas, including advanced technological cooperation between the two nations.
"We could have more cooperation with India. At the moment, India is dependent on Russian technology but it is a big strategical problem. We had some discussions with the DRDO. India's native weapons are good but base of these weapons are Russian," Vysniauskas said.
"Russian technologies are old and it lags behind many many years. That is why I think India, on one hand, must produce native weapons, tanks, guns etc, but on the other hand, you must have cooperation with us and develop platforms based on western technologies that could be exported to NATO members," the MP said.
Lithuania is a NATO member and "so we have this NATO cooperation, that is why if there are some kind of need we will buy weapons from India", Vysniauskas said In February, a delegation of high-level officials from that country is scheduled to visit various ministries, while an industrial delegation will engage in cooperation with various businesses.
"In some sectors such as biotechnology and semiconductor, Lithuania has advanced technology. In this regard, our businesses can cooperate in these high-value products and not just industrial products," Mitalas said.
India is also poised to open its embassy in Lithuania, marking its first presence in the Baltic region.
The parliamentarians said that the establishment of the embassy will reinforce partnership between the two nations and propel cooperation in vital sectors, including biotechnology and semiconductors.
Deputy Speaker in the Lithuanian Parliament, Mitalas, said that "authoritarian regimes are increasingly displaying more aggression". "It's remarkable the amount of effort India must exert to defend itself against potential provocations or unforeseen events on its borders, particularly with China," he added.
India officially recognised Lithuania, along with Latvia and Estonia, as independent States in 1991, following the former USSR's acceptance of their independence.