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Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius has said Britain's vote to exit the EU had weakened the bloc and represented a victory for Russia's president, during a visit to the United States.

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Linas Linkevičius
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

Speaking at the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC, Linkevicius said that the Brexit vote had weakened the EU and warned that the European Union will be losing one of its strongest voices standing up to Russian aggression following Britain’s vote, the Washington Times reported.

He said Lithuania would “love to keep close relations with the UK” as Britain remained its strongest European ally in the face of growing assertiveness from Moscow along its western border.

However, he said the NATO military alliance should not be directly impacted by the referendum result and will remain a strong counter to Russia.

Linkevicius said Moscow “would be stupid to challenge NATO” through direct military action but he warned that the government of President Vladimir Putin had already begun to intervene in the Baltic region through “hybrid methods”.