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Existence of a nation and a state is possible when moral values reinforce society and connect us to our neighbors, President said at the Conference in Kaunas

Thursday, June 11, Kaunas - President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus attended the international conference "The Baltics as an Intersection of Civilizational Identities" held at Vytautas Magnus University on 11-14 June.


The purpose of the Conference is to bring together members of academic communities from 20 different states in four continents of the world who explore the Baltic region in various aspects. This present forum expects visitors from 70 universities from all over the world, with the total participation likely to reach 200 people.


Addressing the organisers and participants of the Conference the President said that for Lithuania, which was celebrating the millennium of the first mention of its name in written records this year, it was a wonderful opportunity to look back at the history of its own and of its neighbors, to reflect on the emergence of its identity and on the development of its mentality.


"The very idea of the Baltic region has always been, and still is, multifaceted and contradictory. Various political and cultural visions and perceptions of the region have emerged and existed throughout history. Different viewpoints and perspectives create different mental images of the region, its status and boundaries," Mr. Adamkus said noting that the diversity of the countries represented at the Conference afforded an excellent opportunity to take a more general view of the Baltic countries.


The Head of State underlined that the achievements of the Baltic countries in arts, science and sports had attested more than once that the success and well-being of a state is predetermined not only by its territorial size or population, but mostly by spiritual values: moral strength and responsibility for own decisions.


"A full and continued existence of a nation and a state is possible when these values integrate and reinforce society and also when they connect us to our neighbors, serving as a token of solidarity, closeness, trust, mutual responsibility, and honest dialogue," the President said expressing belief that the academic environment was the best place for such a dialogue.


The Head of State also mentioned that this dialogue had acquired its true dimension quite recently, when the Baltic States went through radical transformations at the turn of the 21st century.


"Unfortunately, as we focused all endeavors on creating a new state, we fell short of time to reflect on who we are, where we are going to and what we want to be in the future," President Adamkus said further.


The Head of State welcomed the emergence of history and cultural studies several years ago that highlighted national mentality, changes in society and the impact of the Soviet times on our life. According to the President, this Conference witnesses the importance of not only being concerned about self perception, but also of sharing this perception with those who have come through the same historical experience.


The President underlined that economic progress was worthless if there were no foundation values in times of both economic well-being and economic slowdown.


"Therefore it is quite understandable that people are turning their eyes toward history and culture which have long dominated the work and life of most prominent people in the Baltic region," President Adamkus said.

Press Service of the President


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