In light of the situation in Ukraine, it is "very hard" the believe the sincerity of Russia's statements about peace initiatives in the Middle East, says Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė attending events of the United Nations (UN) in New York.
"The West has always been in support of peace and democracy. It has demonstrated this by way of its historic development. If we were to talk about our neighbour [Russia], we see its peace in Eastern Ukraine today, we've seen it in Crimea and other parts of the world," Grybauskaitė said in an audio recording published by the President's Office on Monday.
"It can indeed be very hard to trust a country which is engaged in aggressive policies and, furthermore, military action and is actively involved in aggression in another country's territory, believe the country that it can bring peace or has sincere intentions to reconcile somebody or bring peace," said the Lithuanian president.
At the UN General Assembly, Russia's President Vladimir Putin intends to present his vision on a joint coalition against the Islamic State. Before the events in New York, Moscow stepped up its military support to Syria's President Bashar al Assad who the Western world says has perpetrated war crimes. Both Assad and a Western coalition are fighting the Islamic State.
In Monday's interview, Grybauskaitė also called for reforms of the United Nations Security Council, saying that exercising of veto power by the council's permanent members had made it a “hostage to Russia”. She said examples included the Moscow decision to veto the UN resolution on establishing a tribunal prosecuting those behind last year's Malaysia Airlines disaster in Eastern Ukraine, as well as the Russian veto right on the decision to list the Srebrenica massacre as genocide.
"The Security Council has become Russia's hostage when it comes to issues of such significance as mentioning or assessment of genocide, shooting of an airplane – the resolutions that were to bring clarity and justice were blocked," said Grybauskaitė.
The investigation of the airliner disaster may come up in New York during an event on justice in international conflicts, which is co-organized by the Lithuanian president and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.