Viktoras Pranckietis congratulates the USA on Independence Day
Press release, 4 July 2017
On behalf of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania and on his own behalf, Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas, congratulated the United States of America (USA) on Independence Day.
The Speaker of the Seimas said that the USA was Lithuania’s strategic partner and our region expected its leadership, particularly in a constantly changing geopolitical situation giving rise to new challenges and threats. He also stated that the USA remained a security guarantor for the Baltic States.
“We will always be grateful to the USA for the non-recognition of the occupation of the Baltic States. The Lithuanian embassy in Washington was the only place where Lithuania remained unoccupied. We hope that the USA will continue to prosper and resolutely defend democratic values throughout the world,” said the Speaker of the Seimas.
On 26 June–1 July 2017, Mr Pranckietis had a working visit in the USA and, together with the Speakers of the Nordic-Baltic Parliaments (NB8), met with officials from the White House, the Congress, the Department of State, and the Department of Commerce.
Strengthening of transatlantic cooperation, security, support to the Eastern Partnership countries and transatlantic trade were the matters discussed in Washington. Mr Pranckietis told that all the meetings focused on security, including cyber security, hybrid threats, and greater resilience of society to hostile propaganda. He said that the militarisation of the Kaliningrad Region, the Zapad exercises, and events in eastern Ukraine unsettled not only Lithuania, but also the USA. Mr Pranckietis said that both NB8 and the US administration shared the same understanding about the security challenges.
“It is symbolic that, during the visit of the Speakers of the NB8 Parliaments in Washington, the US House of Representatives almost unanimously adopted a resolution, which reaffirmed the US commitment to NATO allies and stressed that the USA was ready to invoke Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty in case of aggression against any NATO member country,” said the Speaker of the Seimas.
By allocating funds to defence, the US expects its partners to follow suit. Therefore, Lithuania’s decision to increase defence spending to 2.07 % of GDP received a very positive welcome. The USA also greatly appreciates the allies’ contribution to the international anti-terrorist coalition.
The Speaker of the Seimas underlined that yet another crucial aspect was that the USA saw the Nordic and Baltic countries as a united region speaking with one voice.
Dalia Vencevičienė, Senior Adviser to the Speaker of the Seimas, tel. +370 5 239 6016, mob. +370 698 42 071, e-mail: [email protected]