Thursday, August 24, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany and discussed bilateral relations and cooperation in the EU and NATO.
It is the first Steinmeier’s official visit to Lithuania after assuming office of the President. On the second day of the visit, Presidents Steinmeier and Grybauskaitė will visit German soldiers serving at the NATO forward presence battalion in Rukla.
According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, Germany is one of the closest partners of Lithuania. Both countries are tightly bound together by long-term historic and cultural ties while successful bilateral economic cooperation contributes to the well-being of Lithuanian people. Germany is the second largest trade partner and the third largest foreign investor that has created over 17 thousand jobs in Lithuania.
According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, the most important document of Lithuania’s statehood – the Act of Independence of 16 February – that has been preserved in the archives of Germany and found this year provides the best meaning to the special bond with Germany. Presently, an agreement is being drafted for the Act of Independence to be transferred for exposition in Lithuania.
Enhancing security and defense was one of the key topics of the meeting. According to the President, the geopolitical tension is ongoing with approaching military exercises “Zapad 2017”. Although the offensive military exercises, hostile to the West, have not officially begun yet, the conventional and unconventional threats are being perceived already. Russia carries out intensive militarization at the border of NATO as well as aims to cause fear and tension in society through its pseudo campaigns; it instigates hostility to the Alliance and continues carrying out information and cyber-attacks.
The President expressed gratitude for Germany’s decision to lead NATO battalion in Lithuania. According to the President, it is a model of exceptional leadership, solidarity and unity of the Alliance. Soldiers from nine NATO countries in Lithuania and from twenty countries in the entire region prove to be the best deterrence measure. The Alliance’s determination and defense readiness enhances security of the entire Alliance and helps ensure peace in Europe.
Cooperation in fighting against propaganda and spreading lies was also discussed at the meeting. Two years ago, Lithuania and Germany signed a partnership agreement in the area of strategic communication and information security. Lithuanian and German national broadcasters – LRT and “Deutsche Welle” – are engaged in active cooperation through journalist and student exchanges and joint NGO projects.
Lithuania and Germany enjoy active regional cooperation as well as cooperation in the fields of science, education, culture and close people-to-people contacts. Almost 60 Lithuanian towns and regions have twinning partnerships with German cities and states. Germany is also a leading country by the number of tourists visiting Lithuania – over 170 thousand of them come to Lithuania each year.
Last updated 2017.08.24 17:09Back