Lithuania in the News
1st June 2014
Elections in Lithuania and Ukraine
President Dalia Grybauskaitė is congratulated after her election
win by her defeated rival Zigmantas Balčytis (centre) and the
Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius (right). Photo courtesy
Last Sunday, 25 May 2014, Lithuania held elections for its President. The incumbent, Dalia Grybauskaitė, was re-elected for a second five year term with a resounding majority of 58%. Her opponent in the final second round of the election was the Social Democrat Zigmantas Balčytis. The re-election of Dalia Grybauskaitė was a historic one, as no other Lithuanian President in the past has served two consecutive terms.
It is an interesting coincidence that Ukraine also held its presidential election on the same day, with Petro Poroshenko winning the election. The events leading to the Ukrainian presidential election had their genesis in what happened in Vilnius in November last year during the EU Eastern Partnership Summit, where the then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, under strong Russian pressure, declined to
Newly elected Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Photo courtesy
sign an EU association agreement. This led to massive protests in Ukraine, leading to Viktor Yanukovich fleeing Ukraine and new elections last Sunday. The victor in last Sunday’s elections, Petro Poroshenko, is firmly in favour of Ukraine following a path toward European integration.
Lithuania has consistently supported Ukraine's aspirations towards a European future, both during Lithuania’s Presidency of the EU Council in second half of 2013 and during its current membership of the UN Security Council. This stance has been much appreciated by Ukraine. For Lithuanians it was a happy moment to view a delightful video produced during the Maidan days in Kiev, with beautiful Ukrainian girls expressing warm words for Lithuania: “We extend greetings to Lithuania – that wonderful European Union country. We hope that Lithuania supports us and knows the whole truth about us”. (Please see the video link below).
The international standing of Lithuania ensures that its voice is heard in international forums. Australia and Lithuania this year share membership of the UN Security Council. President Dalia Grybauskaitė had the occasion to meet Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop at the Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague in March 2014. Vilnius is currently hosting the major international conference - NATO Parliamentary Assembly, May 30 to June 1 - where Ukraine again is very much on the agenda.

Further information: 26/05/14
On this website - News Archive/ Lithuania in the News/ 1st December 2013 - "World Focus on Lithuania – the EU Eastern Partnership Summit Brings a Vast Gathering of European Leaders to Vilnius"
Video -