Prime Minister: We are grateful to Germany for its contribution to our increased security

2017 08 25
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Earlier today, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has met with German President Franco-Walter Steinmeier.

The Prime Minister has noted that Germany has been among the most important partners of Lithuania in Europe, the EU, NATO and other international organizations. “The Government and I personally are very happy with the very close bilateral relations, strong political, economic, cultural and other ties between our states”, said Saulius Skvernelis.

The Prime Minister has expressed Lithuania’s appreciation to Germany for its solidarity and contribution to the increased national security, as well as its commitment to lead the NATO enhanced forward presence battalion in Lithuania, adding that  the overall public sentiment vis-vis Allied troops in Lithuania is very positive according to opinion polls.

“Germany is also among our most important trading partners, and I trust this trend will continue, gaining ever greater momentum in the future; just like the interest of the German people in our country, which has been witnessed by the growing number of tourists”,  said the Prime Minister.

According to the Prime Minister, it is symbolic that on the eve of the centennial celebration of the restoration of the State of Lithuania, the February 16th Independence Act was found in the country that has been long established as Lithuania’s good friend.

President Franco-Walter Steinmeier has agreed that the cooperation between the two countries, both within NATO and bilaterally, has been excellent. “Our bilateral relations can hardly be better than they are today”, said the President.

The German President emphasized Germany’s historic responsibility towards the Baltic States. “It is important for me to be here in the Baltic States at this particular moment. August 23rd is a special date. The Hitler-Stalin Pact means for the Baltic states the loss of independence and deportations. On the other hand, this is also the day of freedom, when the Baltic States showed their desire for freedom on the Baltic Way. Lithuania’s resolve led it to its liberation ahead of other countries. We have to better understand the Baltic States, because we ourselves have been on the dividing border between the West and the East”.

The President has welcomed the decision regarding Germany’s leadership in forming the NATO battalion in Lithuania, calling it a fair and necessary change in the security situation in Europe.

Other items discussed in the meeting have included the upcoming Zapad exercise and EU’s position in this regard , Brexit and EU’s future challenges.