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Remarks by H.E. Valdas Adamkus, President of the Republic of Lithuania,at the opening of Finnish and Norwegian Embassies

Your Majesty,
Madam President,
Excellencies Ambassadors,
Ladies and Gentlemen!


It is symbolic that today, when we are celebrating the Millennium of Lithuania, our very close friends and allies - Finland and Norway - are opening their new embassies in Vilnius. Links between Lithuania and the Nordic countries are mentioned in historical sources that date back as far as the Early Middle Ages. It means that we have shared common history for a greater part of the past millennium.


Norway and Finland have always been sincere partners of Lithuania, providing every possible assistance to our country in the fields of defense, environmental protection and social integration. We are delighted by the ever stronger contacts between our countries, growing flows of trade and investment, and direct ties maintained by our societies.

 

As soon as Lithuania proclaimed independence, it received immediate and strong support from Norway. Today we highly value Norway as an important economic partner. We cooperate closely within NATO. Norway has already been twice in the Baltic air policing mission. We are also grateful for your country's financial support which we direct to health care, cultural heritage and child care programs. Norway - a favorite destination among many Lithuanian tourists - associates with serene natural landscape and fresh unpolluted air. I am certain that we have a lot to learn from you, just like from other Nordic countries, in energy and environmental protection and especially in improving energy efficiency and countering climate change. The dynamic Lithuanian community in Norway also serves as an important bridge between our two countries.

 

It is with great pleasure that I recall my recent state visit to Finland. Lithuania and Finland are bound by deep historical ties that we remembered and discussed during my visit to your country: the winds of Renaissance that Catherina Jagellonica brought from Vilnius to the City of Turku and continuing cooperation links between our nations and people, scholars and linguists. In the past several decades, these links have evolved into close contacts with active student and academic exchanges between universities, rapidly growing economic ties, intensifying cultural and people-to-people relations. I am very much pleased that our both countries share the same concerns over the Baltic Sea which unites us all.

 

Today we can be proud of intense and rich cooperation ties between the Baltic and Nordic countries. I can say without any doubt that we are becoming members of a single family, united by our common concern about the Baltic Sea region, shared responsibility for EU and NATO policies, and a search for joint solutions to global challenges.

 

Two embassies in a single building is the best witness to close neighborly cooperation between the Nordic countries. I am deeply convinced that the embassies of Finland and Norway in Vilnius will make our relations even more dynamic. Housed in one building, they now symbolize our strong friendship and common future in a unified, democratic and open Europe.

 

I wish you the best of success in your new endeavors!

H.E. Mr. Valdas Adamkus, President of the Republic of Lithuania

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