Foreign relations of Lithuania

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Lithuania is a Northern country on the south-eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, a member of the United Nations Organisation, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the World Trade Organisation. Currently, Lithuania maintains diplomatic relations with 186 states[1] Lithuania became a member of the United Nations on 18 September 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,[2] 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 31 May 2001.

Lithuania's membership in the EU

EU flag square.PNG

On 1 May 2004, Lithuania became one of the 27 member states of the European Union. The EU activities affect different spheres of politics, from consumer rights to national defence matters. In the second half of 2013, Lithuania took presidency over the EU Council. Membership in the Union has strengthened the domestic economy, giving it access to the wide pan-European market. Foreign direct investments in Lithuania are growing. The country is poised to become energy-independent. The accession to the Schengen space in 2007 has opened up possibilities for the free movement of both citizens and goods across 25 European states. Lithuania's citizens enjoy equal social guarantees while working, travelling, or studying at the Community's countries. The country now benefits from additional EU fund and programme funding in the field of education and science. As an EU citizen, every citizen of Lithuania has the guarantee of consular assistance of EU representative offices in countries where Lithuania has none.[3]

Lithuania's membership in NATO

Flag of NATO.svg

On 29 March 2004, Lithuania became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation[4] It is a defensive union based on political and military cooperation of sovereign states. Its members are committed to protecting freedom, guarding shared heritage and civilisation under the principles of democracy, individual freedom, and superiority of law. According to Article 5 of the agreement, all NATO states are obliged to defend one another. Lithuania entered into cooperation with NATO in 1991. Five years later, Lithuania launched its mission to the organisation, and in late 2002, Lithuania and six other states was invited to start negotiations over membership in the Alliance. Today Lithuania sees NATO as the key and most effective collective defence system, one that ensures the security of the state and stands to defer potential aggression, and employs every measure available to strengthen trans-Atlantic relations to contribute to the strengthening of the EU-U.S. relations.[5]

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 the interparliamentary Baltic Assembly, the intergovernmental Baltic Council of Ministers and the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

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.[6]

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.[7]

Diplomatic relations

Countries which Lithuania maintains diplomatic relations with:

As of 2022, Lithuania maintains diplomatic relations with 186 UN member states, Holy See, Kosovo and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

List of countries which Lithuania maintains diplomatic relations with:
# Country Date[8]
1  Denmark 24 August 1991
2  Iceland 26 August 1991
3  Norway 27 August 1991
4  Austria 28 August 1991
5  Germany 28 August 1991
6  Sweden 28 August 1991
7  Finland 29 August 1991
8  France 29 August 1991
9  Italy 30 August 1991
10  Canada 2 September 1991
11  Hungary 2 September 1991
12  Ireland 2 September 1991
13  Turkey 3 September 1991
14  United Kingdom 4 September 1991
15  Belgium 5 September 1991
16  Poland 5 September 1991
17   Switzerland 5 September 1991
18  United States 6 September 1991
19  Czech Republic 9 September 1991
20  Slovakia 9 September 1991
21  Bulgaria 10 September 1991
22  Romania 13 September 1991
23  China 14 September 1991
24  Argentina 25 September 1991
25  North Korea 25 September 1991
  Holy See 30 September 1991
26  Portugal 4 October 1991
27  Estonia 5 October 1991
28  Latvia 5 October 1991
29  Spain 7 October 1991
30  Russia 9 October 1991
31  Japan 10 October 1991
32  South Korea 14 October 1991
33  Brazil 5 November 1991
34  Mexico 5 November 1991
35  Australia 6 November 1991
36  South Africa 20 November 1991
37  Armenia 21 November 1991
38  Slovenia 22 November 1991
39  Netherlands 3 December 1991
40  Chile 5 December 1991
41  Mongolia 11 December 1991
42  Ukraine 12 December 1991
43  Philippines 15 December 1991
44  Greece 7 January 1992
45  Israel 8 January 1992
46  New Zealand 10 January 1992
47  Egypt 22 January 1992
48  Venezuela 10 February 1992
49  Croatia 18 March 1992
50  Vietnam 18 March 1992
51  Albania 27 April 1992
52  India 27 April 1992
53  Guinea 27 April 1992
54  Senegal 4 May 1992
55  Morocco 7 May 1992
56  Costa Rica 17 May 1992
57  Yemen 22 May 1992
58  Cabo Verde 28 May 1992
59  Kazakhstan 12 June 1992
60  Zimbabwe 18 June 1992
61  Tunisia 30 June 1992
62  Luxembourg 2 July 1992
63  Kyrgyzstan 3 July 1992
64  Moldova 8 July 1992
 Sovereign Military Order of Malta 9 July 1992
65  Ghana 10 July 1992
66  Turkmenistan 21 July 1992
67  Uzbekistan 5 August 1992
68  Tajikistan 13 August 1992
69  Mauritania 11 September 1992
70  Oman 22 September 1992
71  United Arab Emirates 16 October 1992
72  Ecuador 20 October 1992
73  Bosnia and Herzegovina 6 November 1992
74  Bangladesh 12 November 1992
75  Panama 19 November 1992
76  Qatar 25 November 1992
77  Cyprus 3 December 1992
78  Belarus 30 December 1992
79  Paraguay 3 March 1993
80  Uruguay 8 March 1993
81  Lebanon 18 March 1993
82  Thailand 9 April 1993
83  Burundi 17 May 1993
84  Syria 25 May 1993
85  Seychelles 1 July 1993
86  Indonesia 15 July 1993
87  Colombia 5 August 1993
88  Singapore 10 October 1993
89  Iran 4 November 1993
90  Tanzania 11 November 1993
91  Guatemala 14 December 1993
92  Bolivia 12 January 1994
93  Malta 7 February 1994
94  Gabon 3 March 1994
95  Malaysia 9 March 1994
96  Nicaragua 23 March 1994
97  Mozambique 30 March 1994
98  Kuwait 5 April 1994
99  Algeria 15 April 1994
100  Pakistan 31 May 1994
101  Jordan 5 July 1994
102  Chad 10 August 1994
103  Laos 1 September 1994
104  Georgia 16 September 1994
105  Dominican Republic 2 May 1995
106  Bahrain 3 July 1995
107  North Macedonia 11 July 1995
108  Jamaica 20 October 1995
109  Azerbaijan 20 November 1995
110  Mali 21 November 1995
111  Sri Lanka 20 August 1996
112  Andorra 13 May 1997
113  Peru 9 June 1997
114  Kenya 28 July 1997
115  Ivory Coast 21 October 1997
116  Eritrea 29 August 1998
117  Burkina Faso 23 September 1998
118  Ethiopia 19 October 1998
119  Djibouti 9 June 1999
120  Mauritius 20 September 1999
121  El Salvador 15 October 1999
122  Maldives 2 December 1999
123  Gambia 17 February 2000
124  Lesotho 20 July 2000
125  Serbia 22 December 2000
126  Nigeria 17 January 2001
127  Liechtenstein 27 March 2001
128  Brunei 27 April 2001
129  Zambia 13 July 2001
130  Angola 4 June 2002
131  San Marino 6 March 2003
132  Sao Tome and Principe 8 July 2003
133  Botswana 17 February 2004
134  Antigua and Barbuda 23 September 2004
135  Belize 30 December 2004
136  Honduras 26 January 2005
137    Nepal 8 February 2005
138  Cambodia 30 March 2005
139  Afghanistan 31 March 2005
140  Bahamas 11 August 2005
141  Benin 2 September 2005
142  Saudi Arabia 31 October 2005
143  Republic of Congo 5 December 2005
144  Namibia 22 December 2005
145  Iraq 19 January 2006
146  Montenegro 18 July 2006
147  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 5 February 2007
148  Libya 11 June 2008
 Kosovo 1 September 2008
149  Samoa 19 February 2009
150  Barbados 16 March 2009
151  Saint Lucia 19 March 2009
152  Haiti 4 May 2010
153  Monaco 12 April 2011
154  Nauru 28 June 2011
155  Malawi 18 November 2011
156  Guyana 25 January 2012
157  Uganda 15 March 2012
158  Solomon Islands 20 September 2012
159  Saint Kitts and Nevis 26 September 2012
160  Trinidad and Tobago 26 September 2012
161  Suriname 26 March 2013
162  Rwanda 27 March 2013
163  Palau 25 September 2013
164  Cuba 26 September 2013
165  Comoros 26 September 2013
166  Grenada 26 September 2013
167  Timor-Leste 27 September 2013
168  Dominica 7 October 2013
169  Myanmar 8 October 2013
170  Cameroon 16 October 2013
171  Federated States of Micronesia 4 November 2013
172  Kiribati 15 January 2014
173  Fiji 24 January 2014
174  Sierra Leone 15 April 2014
175  Liberia 23 April 2014
176  Niger 30 May 2014
177  Togo 22 September 2014
178  Vanuatu 28 September 2015
179  Sudan 21 June 2017
180  Madagascar 19 September 2017
181  Somalia 30 September 2017
182  Tuvalu 7 June 2018
183  Central African Republic 25 September 2018
184  Marshall Islands 24 September 2019
185  Eswatini 1 April 2021
186  Guinea-Bissau 21 September 2021

Africa

Country Formal relations (re)established Notes
 Algeria See Algeria–Lithuania relations
 Gambia 17 February 2000 See Gambia–Lithuania relations

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 17 February 2000.[9]

 South Africa See Lithuania–South Africa relations
 Tunisia See Lithuania–Tunisia relations

America

Country Formal relations (re)established Notes
 Antigua and Barbuda 23 September 2004

Both countries established diplomatic relations on September 23, 2004.[9]

 Argentina 1991
 Brazil 1991 See Brazil–Lithuania relations
  • Brazil is accredited to Lithuania from its embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark and maintains an honorary consulate in Vilnius.
  • Lithuania maintains a consulate-general in São Paulo.
 Canada 2 September 1991 See Canada–Lithuania relations
  • Canada has an embassy office in Vilnius.
  • Lithuania has an embassy in Ottawa.
 Mexico 5 November 1991 See Lithuania–Mexico relations

Lithuania and Mexico initially established diplomatic relations on 31 May 1938 and signed a Treaty of Friendship in Washington, D.C., United States. Mexico never recognized the annexation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union and condemned the action. On 5 November 1991, Mexico recognized and re-established diplomatic relations with Lithuania. In 2002, President Valdas Adamkus paid a visit to Mexico and met with Mexican President Vicente Fox. In 2008, President Adamkus returned to Mexico for a visit and met with Mexican President Felipe Calderón.[10]

  • Lithuania is accredited to Mexico from its embassy in Washington, D.C., United States and maintains an honorary consulate in Mexico City.
  • Mexico is accredited to Lithuania from its embassy in Stockholm, Sweden and maintains an honorary consulate in Vilnius.[11]
 United States 28 July 1992 See Lithuania–United States relations
Valdas Adamkus and George W. Bush in Vilnius in 2002.

Lithuania and the United States first entered into diplomatic relations on 28 July 1992, thanks to enormous efforts from governmental officials of Lithuania and members of the Lithuanian community in the U.S. During the entire period when Lithuania was occupied, the U.S. pursued a policy of non-recognition of the occupation. After independence was restored, on 6 September 1991 the two countries resumed their cross-border relations. U.S. governmental and non-governmental organisations have lent a lot of assistance to strengthen the public and governmental institutions and market economy of the fledgling democracy.[12] On 2 October 1992, the U.S. embassy was launched in Vilnius. On 22 November 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush paid the first official visit to Lithuania. On 8 May 2003, the United States Senate cast a unanimous vote ratifying NATO membership protocols and opening up a door to NATO for Lithuania.[13] Currently, there are 29 bilateral agreements regulating the relationship between Lithuania and the U.S. in various field.[14]

Asia

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Armenia 21 November 1991
  • Armenia is represented in Lithuania through its embassy in Warsaw (Poland).
  • Lithuania has an embassy in Yerevan.
  • There are around 2,500 people of Armenian descent living in Lithuania.
  • Lithuania has recognized the Armenian genocide in 2005.
  • Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign affairs: list of bilateral treaties with Armenia (in Lithuanian only)
 Azerbaijan 1995-11-27
  • Azerbaijan recognized the independence of Lithuania on 10 September 1991.
  • Lithuania recognized the independence of Azerbaijan on 20 December 1991.
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Vilnius.
  • Lithuania has an embassy in Baku.
  • Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
  • Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Cooperation with Azerbaijan
  • Foreign Minister of Lithuania to pay official visit to Azerbaijan
 China 14 September 1991 See China-Lithuania relations

The Republic of China established diplomatic relations in 1921.

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

 Georgia 16 September 1994 See Georgia–Lithuania relations
 India 1992-04-27 See India–Lithuania relations
  • India has an honorary consulate in Vilnius.
  • Lithuania has an embassy in New Delhi and an Honorary Consulate in Mumbai, India.
 Iran See Iran–Lithuania relations
 Israel 8 January 1992 See Israel–Lithuania relations

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

 Japan 1991 09 06 See Japan–Lithuania relations

Relations between Lithuania and Japan started on 22 December 1922, when Lithuania was recognized by Japan de jure.[15][16] 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 6 September 1991, Japan recognized the independence of the Republic of Lithuania from the Soviet Union and on 10 October, 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.[17]

 Kazakhstan 1992-06-12
  • Kazakhstan has an embassy in Vilnius.[18]
  • Lithuania has an embassy in Nur-Sultan and an honorary consulate in Almaty.[19]
  • Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: list of bilateral treaties with Kazakhstan (in Lithuanian only)
 Kyrgyzstan 3 July 1992
 Malaysia 9 March 1994 See Lithuania–Malaysia relations

Lithuania has an honorary consulate in Kuala Lumpur,[20] while Malaysia embassy in Stockholm were also accredited to Lithuania.

 South Korea 1991-10-14[21]
  • The establishment of diplomatic relations between the South Korea and Lithuania began in October 1991.
  • Bilateral Trade in 2014
    • Exports US$216,000,000
    • Imports US$50,000,000
  • Bilateral Trade in 2014
    • South Korea's Investment in Lithuania US$3,340,000
    • Lithuania's Investment in South Korea US$145,000
  • According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade there are as few as 41 South Koreans living in Lithuania.[21][22]
  • Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Cooperation with South Korea
  • South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade about relations with Lithuania (in Korean only)
 Tajikistan 1992
 Turkey See Lithuania–Turkey relations
  • Lithuania has an embassy in Ankara.
  • Turkey has an embassy in Vilnius.
  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
 Vietnam See Lithuania–Vietnam relations

Europe

Country Formal relations (re)established Notes
 Austria 28 August 1991
  • Austria is accredited to Lithuania from its Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vienna and maintains an honorary consulate in Vilnius.[23]
  • Lithuania has an embassy in Vienna.[24]
  • Both countries are full members of the European Union.
  • Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign affairs: list of bilateral treaties with Austria (in Lithuanian only)
 Belarus 30 December 1992 See Belarus–Lithuania relations

Lithuania entered into an international relationship with Belarus in 1991, when, on 20 December, the Supreme Council of Lithuania recognised the independence of the Republic of Belarus, with Belarus recognising the independence of Lithuania a week later, on 27 December. On 30 December 1992, an agreement to enter into diplomatic relations was made in Minsk.[25] In 1995, the presidents of the two countries, Algirdas Brazauskas and Alexander Lukashenko signed an agreement on Good Neighbourhood and Cooperation. Top-ranking governmental officials have exchanged visits. Since 2007, the heads of the governments of the two states have been meeting on regular basis. Belarus is an important economic partner to Lithuania,[26] yet Lithuania supports the stance of the EU and other international organisations on this state. Recently, the nuclear power plant under construction in Astravyets, Belarus, which is considered by Lithuania unsafe, has been escalating tensions. On top of that, Belarus's growing energy, economic, and military dependence on Russia is forcing Lithuania to exercise caution in measuring the political decisions of the country. Currently, there are 27 bilateral agreements regulating the relationship between Lithuania and Belarus in different areas.[27]

  • Belarus has an embassy in Vilnius.[28]
  • Lithuania has an embassy in Minsk[29] and a general consulate in Hrodna.[30]
  • Both countries share 680 km of common border.
 Bulgaria 10 September 1991[31] See Bulgaria–Lithuania relations
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Vilnius.[32]
  • Lithuania has an embassy in Sofia.
  • Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign affairs: list of bilateral treaties with Bulgaria (in Lithuanian only)
  • Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign affairs
  • Both countries are full members of the European Union and NATO.
 Croatia 18 March 1992 See Croatia–Lithuania relations
 Denmark 26 September 1991 See Denmark–Lithuania relations

After Lithuania regained its independence in 1990, Denmark's government approved of and lent its assistance to the establishment of the Baltic Information Bureau in Copenhagen in the fall of 1990, to become the first Baltic institution of the kind in Western Europe. On 28 February 1991, the Danish and the Lithuanian foreign ministers inked a mutual protocol, undertaking to reconstruct diplomatic relations whenever possible. The Lithuanian–Denmark diplomatic relations were restored on 26 September 1991. On the initiative of Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, then the Danish foreign minister, an active policy on the Baltics was established and followed until our country joined NATO and the EU. Denmark's tremendous assistance to Lithuania was instrumental to the achievement of our NATO and EU ambitions and the huge inflow of Danish investments in Lithuania. Today, the two countries are cooperating very closely in the fields of defence and economy.

 Estonia 16 June 1991 See Estonia–Lithuania relations
 Finland 28 August 1991

Finland recognised Lithuania's independence on 28 August 1991, and the two countries started diplomatic relations the very same day. Finland is a key partner and neighbour to Lithuania, with the countries pursuing active cooperation in the fields of economy, energy, regional, information security, to name a few. Currently, there are 11 bilateral agreements regulating the relationship between Lithuania and Finland different fields.[33]

 France 29 August 1991

The first contacts between Lithuania and France were established back in the fall of 1918, and the 1919 Versailles peace conference featured a Lithuanian delegation under Oskaras Milašius. France pronounced de jure recognition of Lithuania on 20 December 1922, becoming a key political partner to the state of Lithuania of the period. During the times of Soviet occupation, Lithuania did not have an official mission to France, even though individual persons were allowed to act in an emissary capacity. The diplomatic relations were resumed on 29 August 1991.

 Germany 27 August 1991

Germany was the first state to de jure recognise Lithuania's statehood on 23 March 1918. Even though Lithuania had been trying to build close ties with this country before the Second World War, on 23 March 1939 Germany made an ultimatum and took over the region of Klaipėda. With the Second World War raging on, in summer 1941, Germany pushed the invading Soviet regime out of Lithuania and occupied the country until early 1945. During the period, in 1942, Germany established a self-government reporting to the German authorities. In the wake of the failed coup and the factual collapse of the Soviet Union in August 1991, on 27 August 1991, the Federal Republic of Germany recognised the independence of the Republic of Lithuania and entered into diplomatic relation s with the country on 28 August. On 28 November 1991, Germany supported Lithuania's membership in the EU and NATO. On the basis of the decisions made at the 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw, as of February 2017, Lithuania hosts a NATO enhanced forward presence battlegroup under German command. Currently, there are 21 bilateral agreements regulating the historically finest relationship between Lithuania and Germany.

 Greece 7 February 1992[34] See Greece–Lithuania relations
  Holy See 30 September 1991[35]

The first Pope to de jure recognise Lithuania in 1922 was Pius XI, with Kazys Bizauskas dispatched to represent Lithuania in the Vatican. In 1926, Kaunas ecclesiastical province was established, and a concord with the Holy See was signed in 1927.[36] The latter had never recognised Lithuania's incorporation into the Soviet Union. Lithuania had its embassies to the Holy See in Rome. Full-fledged diplomatic relations were resumed on 30 September 1991 with a bilateral declaration signed in Vilnius.[37] On 11 July 1992, Kazys Lozoraitis became Lithuania's first ambassador to the Holy See.[38] Currently, there are 4 bilateral agreements regulating the relationship between Lithuania and the Holy See in different fields.[39]

 Iceland 26 August 1991 See Iceland–Lithuania relations
  • Iceland was the first country which recognised Lithuania's Independence from the Soviet Union on 11 January 1991.[40]
 Kosovo 16 July 2008 See Kosovo–Lithuania relations
  • Lithuania recognized Kosovo on 6 May 2008.[41] Diplomatic relations commenced on 16 July 2008.[42]
 Latvia 12 February 1921 See Latvia–Lithuania relations
Lithuanian Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis and Latvian Prime Minister Māri Kučinski in 2016.

The diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Latvia date back to 1919. On 12 February 1921, Latvia de jure recognised Lithuania. Throughout the entire period of independence of the two states between the two world wars, efforts were being made to strengthen cross-border and international cooperation by establishing new unions and partnerships. This did not produce any significant results. After the two countries restored their statehood, their diplomatic relations were resumed on 5 October 1991, when an agreement on the reconstruction of the state border, promotion and protection of investments, air service, and other matters, was made.[43] Today, Latvia ranks second on the list of Lithuania's export partners, and fourth in terms of imports.[44] Currently, the relations between Lithuania and Latvia in different fields are regulated by 23 bilateral agreements.[45] and 22 tripartite agreements, which involve Estonia[46]

 Malta 7 February 1994[47]
  • Malta is represented in Lithuania through a non-resident ambassador based in Valletta (in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • and an honorary consulate in Vilnius.[48]
  • Lithuania is represented in Malta through its embassy in Rome (Italy) and an honorary consulate in Valletta.[49]
  • Both countries are full members of the European Union.
  • Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign affairs: list of bilateral treaties with Malta (in Lithuanian only)
 Moldova 8 July 1992
 Netherlands 27 April 1992

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 27 April 1992.[50]

 Norway 27 August 1991

Norway recognised Lithuania's independence on 24 August 1991. On 27 August, the countries entered into diplomatic relations. Norway is a key partner in the areas of economy, energy security, and defence. Currently, there are 12 bilateral agreements regulating the relationship between Lithuania and Norway in different areas.[51]

 Poland 26 August 1991 See Lithuania–Poland relations
Aleksander Kwasniewski and Valdas Adamkus

Lithuania and Poland have a long history of mutual relations: from a common state to the period when all diplomatic ties were cut. Currently, the Lithuania-Poland relations are excellent. Poland recognised Lithuania's independence on 26 August 1991, and the two countries entered into a diplomatic relationship on 5 August 1991. To promote cross-border relations, an agreement on friendly relations and good neighbourly cooperation between the Republic of Lithuania and the Republic of Poland[52] was signed on 26 April 1994. The agreement regulates the underlying principles that support the cooperation between the countries, waiving any territorial claims, and defines the rights of ethnic minorities. In February 1995, the first official visit of the Lithuania's president to Warsaw took place. To ensure a more efficient cooperation between the countries and to facilitate the implementation of bilateral projects, in 1997, three joint institutions – the Advisory Committee of the presidents of Lithuania and Poland, the Lithuanian-Polish Interparliamentary Assembly, and the Lithuanian-Polish Council of Intergovernmental cooperation – were founded. Bilateral cooperation became very close and intensive with the election of Valdas Adamkus and Aleksander Kwaśniewski presidents of the two countries. Poland was an important ally to Lithuania in the country's bid to attain EU and NATO membership, both presidents acted as mediators during the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and the countries still agree on foreign political threats and the importance of energy independence. Later, there has been some tension in the relations due to the controversy over the situation with ethnic minorities and the disputes over the spelling of Polish personal and place names and Polish schools in Lithuania. Difficulties in education are a challenge that the Lithuanian minority in Puńsk and Sejny is facing. With the changes that occurred in the geopolitical situation of the region in 2016 and energy and transportation infrastructural projects underway, the relationship between Lithuania and Poland is recovering, Poland is actively involved in ensuring the security of the Batic region, its troops are continuously participating in NATO military training exercises in Lithuania.

 Romania 13 August 1991 See Lithuania–Romania relations
 Russia 9 October 1991 See Lithuania–Russia relations

On 12 July 1920, Lithuania signed a Peace Treaty with the Soviet Russia, whereby Russia recognises the sovereignty and independence of the State of Lithuania[55] without reservations and with all of the resulting legal implications, and in good faith abandoned all of Russia's national and territorial claims for all times.’[56] On 27 July 1991, Lithuania and Russia signed an agreement On the Grounds of Cross-border Relations.[57] By this agreement, the countries recognised each other a full-fledged subject of international law and a sovereign state. On 9 October, of the same year, representatives of the two states exchanged notes that signified ultimate recognition of the independence and sovereignty of the state of Lithuania. Russia's troops took a little longer to withdraw from Lithuania. The last of the Russian military deployed in Lithuania left the territory of the country on 31 August 1993.[58] Lithuania supports the stance of the EU and other international organisations towards this state and approves the policy of sanctions. The country does not recognise the annexation of part of Georgian and Ukrainian territories to the Russian Federation. The country also takes active steps to protect its information space. Currently, there are 39 bilateral agreements regulating the relationship between Lithuania and Russia in different fields. Lithuania has an embassy in Moscow.[59] Russia has an embassy in Vilnius, with a consulate in Klaipėda.[60]

 Serbia 14 December 2000
  • Lithuania is represented in Serbia through its embassy in Budapest (Hungary).[61]
  • Serbia is represented in Lithuania through its embassy in Warsaw (Poland) and the diplomatic office in Belgrade.
  • Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: list of bilateral treaties with Serbia (in Lithuanian only)
  • Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Lithuania Archived 19 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
 Slovakia 6 January 1993[62]
  • Lithuania is represented in Slovakia through its embassy in Vienna (Austria).
  • Slovakia is represented in Lithuania through its embassy in Riga (Latvia).
  • Both countries are full members of NATO and of the European Union.
  • Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: list of bilateral treaties with Slovakia (in Lithuanian only)
 Spain 27 August 1991 See Lithuania–Spain relations

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 27 August 1991.[63]

 Sweden 1991 See Lithuania–Sweden relations
 Ukraine 26 August 1991[64] See Lithuania–Ukraine relations
 United Kingdom 4 September 1991 See Lithuania–United Kingdom relations

The history of Lithuania's relations with the United Kingdom started on 20 December 1921 with de jure recognition of Lithuania's statehood. The UK became a key export partner. When Lithuania lost independence, the UK officially closed Lithuania's embassy in London but allowed the ambassador to act in this capacity. On 27 August 1991, the UK recognised the restored state of independent Lithuania and soon thereafter transferred to the Bank of Lithuania the frozen gold reserves of Lithuania. On 4 September 1991, the two countries resumed their diplomatic relations.[67] In addition to intensive economic, military, social cooperation, Lithuania and the United Kingdom stand in close cooperation in the areas of education, science, and culture. Currently, there are 8 bilateral agreements regulating the relationship between Lithuania and the UK in various fields.[68]

  • The UK recognized the restoration of Lithuanian independence on 27 August 1991.
  • The United Kingdom has an embassy in Vilnius and an honorary consulate in Klaipėda.[69]
  • Lithuania has an embassy in London and 5 honorary consulates (in Northern Ireland, Northumberland,
  • Scotland, Wales and the West Midlands).[70]
  • There are around 100,000 Lithuanian people living in the United Kingdom.
  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
  • British Foreign and Commonwealth Office about relations with Lithuania
  • Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign affairs: list of bilateral treaties with Poland (in Lithuanian only)

Oceania

Country Formal relations (re)established Notes
 Australia
  • Australia is accredited to Lithuania from its embassy in Warsaw, Poland and maintains an honorary consulate in Vilnius.
  • Lithuania has an embassy in Canberra.[71]
 New Zealand See Lithuania–New Zealand relations

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 Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.[72]

Anti-terrorism

Lithuania is a signatory to 8 of the 12 International Conventions related to counter- terrorist activities[73]

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 prostitution[74]

See also

Further reading

  • Tomas Janeliūnas. 2020. Foreign Policy Analysis of a Baltic State: Lithuania and 'Grybauskaitė Doctrine'. Routledge.

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