Prime Minister: freedom is in our DNA


2021 10 20

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The International Republican Institute’s (IRI) John S. McCain Freedom Award has been presented to Lithuania in Washington, DC (US). In addition to Lithuania, this year’s Freedom Award has honoured the leaders of democracy in Myanmar, Belarus, and Cuba.

The Award is recognising those who every day risk their lives in pursuit of freedom, liberty, and the rule of law. Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė had been invited to accept the award. Unable to attend, she has sent a video message of thanks.   

The Prime Minister has thanked IRI for the recognition of the support of Lithuania and its people to the people of Belarus, as well as for IRI’s support to Lithuania after it regained its independence.   

‘We managed to make our leap to the side of democracy and freedom – it’s our turn to give back, to extend a supporting hand to those who seek it. Be they in our neighbourhood in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, or in a distant Hongkong or Taiwan. Because freedom is in our DNA, and I hope it will never change,’ emphasised Ingrida Šimonytė.

The full text of Prime Minister’s speech is available here (English) and here (Lithuanian).

The International Republican Institute’s Freedom Award Celebration has been honouring individuals since 1995. Over the years, honourees have included Pope John Paul II (posthumously), US President Ronald Reagan, former US Secretaries of State Henry A. Kissinger, Colin Luther Powell, and Condoleezza Rice, Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov (posthumously), Ukrainian Maidan Movement, as well as freedom fighters in Belarus, Venezuela, and Hong Kong.   

For more information about the Freedom Award, please visit Freedom Award Ceremony | IRI.