President of the Republic of Lithuania

NATO safeguards Lithuania’s right to free and peaceful life

2019-03-30

Saturday, March 30, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė took part in the official celebration of the 15th anniversary of Lithuania’s membership in NATO and in the festive public events that followed.

Speaking at the ceremony of raising the flags of Lithuania and NATO, the President recalled yet another important date: the 70th anniversary of NATO that will be celebrated on April 4. For fifteen years now, the President said, we have been part of its historic timeline. We are proud to be celebrating the anniversary of our membership in NATO together with our allies.

According to the President, joining the Alliance was explicit international recognition.  For Lithuania, it was a beautiful spring of major breakthroughs.    

It is a symbolic and historic coincidence, the President said, that two organizations – both of profound significance to our country – were established the same year: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Union of Lithuanian Freedom Fighters.  Today’s celebration is a tribute to all freedom fighters, a salute to independence ideals.

Dalia Grybauskaitė emphasized that Lithuania’s membership in NATO means that our country stands for Western democratic values underpinning the right to free and peaceful life.

According to the President, we have twenty eight strong and committed friends in the Alliance. NATO, meanwhile, has Lithuania – loyal and steadfast partner with a modern and viable army that celebrated its centenary last year.

The President underlined that we are happy to share this festive spirit with more than six thousand troops from six countries – Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Norway, Belgium, and Iceland – serving in NATO’s forward presence in Lithuania.  And also with half a hundred of American soldiers.  Our air space is guarded by a Polish contingent. Since the Baltic Air Policing mission was launched when Lithuania joined NATO, aircrews from 17 countries have patrolled the Baltic skies.

Dalia Grybauskaitė underscored that membership in NATO is both an honor and an opportunity that need to be earned.  Lithuania therefore supports Ukraine’s and Georgia’s efforts to attain this ultimate goal. Our country has demonstrated that everything is possible: to regain independence and to safeguard it. Seventy years of NATO means seventy years of peace in Europe.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2019.04.01 08:31

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