President of the Republic of Lithuania

The President: It’s time for a new stage of relations with Canada

2019-11-25

November 25 – President Gitanas Nausėda met with Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, to discuss the development of bilateral cooperation in the fields of security, defense, economy, culture, and research.  It was agreed at the meeting that there was yet a lot of untapped potential for collaborative work, especially in technologies and innovation.

“Our relationship with Canada has always been close and friendly. We are very grateful that Canada had never recognized Lithuania’s occupation when we were under the Soviet yoke and that Canada was one of the first countries to recognize Lithuania’s re-established independence. Today we maintain dynamic cooperation ties as we work together to ensure security in the Baltic States’ region. Our trade is expanding, and tourist flows between our countries are growing. However, we also see a lot of untapped opportunities that could take our cooperation on to a new level,” the President said.

With the approaching NATO summit in London on November 3-4, the President underscored that a strong transatlantic bond was essential for Lithuania. “Canada’s engagement and presence in our region to strengthen our security is yet another proof that NATO is a robust alliance capable of dealing with the emerging threats and delivering the main goal: to ensure that our security is indivisible, to protect our territories and societies. We must continue our commitment to each other and do everything we can to keep the transatlantic link strong,” the President said.

Gitanas Nausėda pointed out that there was a huge potential to expand cooperation in the timber and furniture industries, electronics and textile, food products, chemicals and plastics. The EU-Canada comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA), which entered into force provisionally in 2017 and was ratified by the Lithuanian parliament in 2018, has opened many new avenues for cooperation.

The President invited the Canadian business community to take special note of the excellent opportunities for investment in Lithuania, especially in financial technologies, IT, life sciences, and cyber security. “Our business communities could most certainly work together in high technologies and make a joint effort to fight climate change with innovation,” the President said.

During his meeting with the Governor General of Canada, Gitanas Nausėda placed special focus on the danger posed by the Ostravets nuclear power plant – currently under construction in Belarus – to the whole of the region and expressed his expectation that Canada would be raising the issue of nuclear safety at the global level. Views were exchanged about Russia’s aggressive behavior and the security threats it posed to our region as well as about NATO’s efforts to ensure the security of the Baltic States. The President thanked Canada for its contribution to strengthening the defenses of Latvia and all Baltic countries and invited Canada to engage in joint military exercises and training.

He also expressed gratitude to Canada’s Governor General for mobilizing the international community to provide political backing for Ukraine. Canada actively supports Ukraine’s ongoing reforms and its aspiration to integrate more closely with the European Union. In July of 2019, Canada hosted an international Ukraine Reform Conference in Toronto, and next year the conference will be held in Vilnius on July 6-7.

During the Canadian Governor General’s visit to Lithuania, President Gitanas Nausėda wore a white ribbon to mark the White Ribbon Day and express his solidarity with the global men’s movement aimed at preventing violence against women and girls. The White Ribbon campaign was launched in Canada in 1991, spreading to Europe and through the world.

Governor General Julie Payette arrived on an official visit to Lithuania for the first time. Later on, she will be traveling to Estonia. Julie Payette is the Governor General of Canada since 2017.

The President‘s Communication Group

Last updated 2019.11.25 15:54

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