Foreign relations of Lithuania

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Coat of arms of Lithuania
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Lithuania

Lithuania became a member of the United Nations on September 18, 1991, and is a signatory to a number of its organizations and other international agreements. It is also a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe,1 NATO and its adjunct North Atlantic Coordinating Council, the Council of Europe, and the European Union. Lithuania gained membership in the World Trade Organization on May 31, 2001. It also seeks membership in the OECD and other Western organizations.

Lithuania maintains foreign diplomatic missions in 94 countries on six continents and consular posts in two countries that are not represented by an embassy. Lithuania's liberal "zero-option" citizenship law has substantially erased tensions with its neighbors. Lithuania's suspension of two strongly ethnic Polish district councils on charges of blocking reform or disloyalty during the August 1991 coup had cooled relations with Poland, but bilateral cooperation markedly increased with the holding of elections in those districts and the signing of a bilateral Friendship Treaty in 1994. Although a similar bilateral friendship agreement was signed with Belarus in 1995, Lithuania has joined the United States and other European nations in urging the Government of Belarus to adopt democratic and economic reforms.

Lithuania has established diplomatic relations with 176 countries.2

Disputes

Latvia

Russia

  • There are ongoing popular demands to formally condemn the crimes committed by the Soviet regime, including the occupation and annexation of the country to the Soviet Union.
  • In 2005, a fighter aircraft accompanying a Russian spy plane over the Baltic Sea violated Lithuanian airspace for about 20 minutes before crashing near Kaunas3
  • In October 2006, Russia's FSB security service arrested an official in the Kaliningrad region accused of spying for Lithuania4
  • In August 2009, Russian customs officers had imposed special customs on Lithuanian trucks, lining up more than 20 kilometres of trucks from the Republic of Lithuania.
  • Lithuania has an embassy in Moscow.5
  • Russia has an embassy in Vilnius, with consulates in Klaipeda.6
  • Ambassador to Russian Federation is Rimantas Šidlauskas, ambassador to the Republic of Lithuania is Vladimir Chkhikvadze.

Baltic Sea region states

Lithuania is in warm and good relations with Latvia and Estonia. Latvia takes the 1st place on the list of Lithuanian investments abroad.7

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

Germany

Latvia

Date started--> 1991-10-05

  • Latvia has an embassy in Vilnius.8
  • Lithuania has an embassy in Riga.9
  • The two states share 588 kilometres (365 mi) of common border. Both countries are full members of the European Union.

Poland

Lithuania concluded the treaty of friendship with Poland in April 1994. However, disagreements over Lithuania's implementation of the treaty have soured relations and cooperation on energy issues and Lithuania remains unconnected to the Polish electricity grid and the countries are not connected by a non-Russian controlled gas pipeline, as previous promises to do both have been stalled by the row over the friendship treaty.

Lithuania as a part of the Northern Europe region

Lithuania is also an active member in the cooperation between Northern Europe countries. Lithuania is a member of Baltic Council, since its establishment in 1993. Baltic Council is a permanent organisation of international cooperation, located in Tallinn. It operates through the Baltic Assembly and Baltic Council of Ministers.

Lithuania also cooperates with Nordic and other two Baltic countries through NB8 cooperation format. The similar format, called NB6 unites Nordic and Baltic countries members of EU. The main goal of NB6 cooperation is to discuss and agree on positions before presenting them in the Council of the European Union and the meetings of the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers.

The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) was established in 1992 in Copenhagen as an informal regional political forum, which main aim is to promote integration process and to affiliate close contacts between the countries of the region. The members of CBSS are Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden and European Commission. The observer states are Belarus, France, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, United States, United Kingdom, Ukraine.

The cooperation between the Nordic Council of Ministers and Lithuania is a political cooperation through which experience exchange contributes to realization of joint goals. One of its most important functions is to discover new trends and new possibilities for joint cooperation. The information office aims to represent Nordic concepts and demonstrate Nordic cooperation in Lithuania.

Lithuania, together with other two Baltic countries, is also a member of Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and cooperates in NORDPLUS programme committed to education.11

Baltic Development Forum (BDF) is an independent nonprofit organization which unites large companies, cities, business associations and institutions in the Baltic Sea region. In 2010 the 12th Summit of the BDF was held in Vilnius.12

Europe - other

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Austria
 Belarus 1991-10-24
 Bulgaria See Bulgaria–Lithuania relations
 Croatia See Foreign relations of Croatia
 Czech Republic See Foreign relations of the Czech Republic
 France See Foreign relations of France
 Georgia See Foreign relations of Georgia
 Greece See Foreign relations of Greece
 Holy See See Foreign relations of the Holy See
 Hungary See Foreign relations of Hungary
 Iceland 1991-08-26 See Iceland–Lithuania relations
  • Iceland was the first country which recognised Lithuania's Independence from the USSR on January 11, 1991.18
 Ireland See Foreign relations of the Republic of Ireland
 Italy See Foreign relations of Italy
 Kosovo 2008-07-16 See Kosovan–Lithuanian relations
  • Lithuania recognized Kosovo on 6 May 2008.19 Diplomatic relations commenced on 16 July 2008.20
 Malta
 Romania 1924-08-26 See Lithuania–Romania relations
 Serbia 2000-12-14
 Slovakia 1993
 Ukraine See Lithuania–Ukraine relations
 United Kingdom 1991-10 See Lithuania – United Kingdom relations

Asia

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Armenia
 Azerbaijan 1995-11-27
 India
  • India has an Honorary Consulate in Vilnius
  • [5]
  • Lithuania has an embassy in New Delhi and an Honorary Consulate in Mumbai,India.
  • [6]
 Israel See Israel–Lithuania relations

Israel recognized Lithuania’s independence in 1991. Both countries established diplomatic relation in 1992. Israel is represented in Lithuania through its embassy in Riga (Latvia). Lithuania has an embassy in Tel Aviv and 2 honorary consulates (in Herzliya and Ramat Gan).

 Japan See Japan–Lithuania relations

Relations between Lithuania and Japan started on December 20, 1922, when Lithuania was recognized by Japan de jure.3031 In 1939 the Consulate of Japan, headed by vice-consul Chiune Sugihara, was opened in Kaunas. It was closed in 1940 when Lithuania was annexed by the Soviet Union.

On September 6, 1991, Japan recognized the independence of the Republic of Lithuania from USSR and on October 10, Diplomatic relations were restored.

In 1997, Embassy of Japan was established in Lithuania, in 1998, Embassy of Lithuania was established in Japan.

In 2006 May, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Aso visited Lithuania, and Kirkilas, the Prime Minister of Lithuania, visited Japan just three months later. Bilateral relations were strengthen by the official state visit of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko in 2007 May.32

 Kazakhstan
 Malaysia 1994 See Lithuania–Malaysia relations

Lithuania has a honorary consulate in Kuala Lumpur,35 while Malaysia embassy in Stockholm were also accredited to Lithuania.

 People's Republic of China 1991-09-14 See People's Republic of China-Lithuania relations

PR China has an embassy in Vilnius. Lithuania has an embassy in Beijing. In 1992, Embassy of China was established in Vilnius, in 1995, Embassy of Lithuania was established in Beijing.

 South Korea 1991 See Foreign relations of South Korea

Both countries established diplomatc relations in 1991. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of South Korea, there are as few as 41 South Koreans living in Lithuania.36

North America

Canada

United States

In 1998, the United States signed a "Charter of Partnership" with Lithuania and the other Baltic countries establishing bilateral working groups focusing on improving regional security, defense, and economic issues.

Lithuania has friendly relations with and support from the United States, who never recognized their forced incorporation into the Soviet Union. Since the fall of the U.S.S.R. in 1991, the United States and Lithuania have maintained strong economic and military ties, and the efforts of Lithuanian-Americans are said to have been an important factor both in restoring Lithuania's independence and in her admittance to NATO in 2004.37 Then-President George W. Bush visited Lithuania in November 200238 and again in February 2007,39 and expressed pride in Lithuania's determined commitment to democracy over the last two decades.40

Issues

Illicit drug trafficking

Lithuania has been a trans-shipment point for opiates and other illicit drugs from Russia, Southwest Asia, Latin America, and Western Europe to Western Europe and Scandinavia41

Anti-terrorism

Lithuania is a signatory to 8 of the 12 International Conventions related to counter- terrorist activities42

Human trafficking

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that about 1,000 citizens of Lithuania fall victim to trafficking annually. Most are women between the ages of 21 and 30 who are sold into prostitution43

See also

References

  1. ^ Lithuania's Leadership of the OSCE: Hearing before the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, First Session, February 16, 2011
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Russian military aircraft crashes near Kaunas
  4. ^ Russian arrest of an officer accused of spying for Lithuania
  5. ^ (Russian) (Lithuanian) Embassy of Lithuania in Moscow
  6. ^ (Russian) (Lithuanian) Embassy of Russia in Vilnius
  7. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Lithuania's Cooperation with Latvia
  8. ^ Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in the Republic of Lithuania
  9. ^ Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in the Republic of Latvia
  10. ^ (Polish) Informacje o Polsce - informacje ogólne. Page gives Polish PWN Encyklopedia as reference.
  11. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania. [2]. Retrieved on 03 April 2012.
  12. ^ Baltic Development Forum. [3]. Retrieved on 03 April 2012.
  13. ^ Lithuanian embassy in Vienna (in German and Lithuanian only)
  14. ^ Belarussian embassy in Vilnius
  15. ^ Lithuanian embassy in Minsk (in Lithuanian and Russian only)
  16. ^ Lithuanian general consulate in Hrodna (in Lithuanian and Russian only)
  17. ^ Bulgarian embassy in Vilnius
  18. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Lithuania’s Cooperation with Iceland
  19. ^ "Seimas nutarė pripažinti Kosovo Respublikos nepriklausomybę (Seimas recognizes Republic of Kosovo's independence)". Parliament (Seimas) official proceedings (in Lithuanian). 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 
  20. ^ "Vyriausybė užmegs diplomatinius santykius su Kosovu". lrt.lt (in Lithuanian) (Vilnius, Lithuania: Lietuvos nacionalinis radijas ir televizija. (Lithuanian national radio and television)). 
  21. ^ Direction of the Maltese representations in Lithuania
  22. ^ Lithuania embassy in Rome (also accredited to Malta)
  23. ^ embassy in Bucharest
  24. ^ Romanian embassy in Vilnius
  25. ^ Lithuanian embassy in Budapest (also accredited to Serbia)
  26. ^ Lithuanian embassy in Kiev (in Lithuanian and Ukrainian only)
  27. ^ Ukrainian embassy in Vilnius
  28. ^ British embassy in Vilnius
  29. ^ Lithuanian embassy in London
  30. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Lithuania's Cooperation with Japan
  31. ^ Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Tokyo: Bilateral relations
  32. ^ "Japan's Emperor Akihit, Empress Michiko visit Lithuania". International Herald Tribune. 2007-05-26. Retrieved 2008-04-09. 
  33. ^ Kazakh embassy in Vilnius
  34. ^ Lithuanian embassy in Astana (in Lithuanian and Russian only)
  35. ^ "HONORARY CONSULATE OF LITHUANIA" (PDF). Honorary Consulate of Lithuania, Kuala Lumpur. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  36. ^ [4]
  37. ^ Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to the United States of America and to the United Mexican States: Lithuanian-US Political Relations
  38. ^ President's Visit to Eastern Europe and Russia: Nov. 19-23, 2002
  39. ^ US-Lithuania Relations - US Embassy Vilnius, Lithuania
  40. ^ Bush Interview by Lithuanian State Television - US Embassy Vilnius, Lithuania
  41. ^ Drug issues in the Baltics
  42. ^ Interpol
  43. ^ Human Trafficking in the Baltics







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