Lithuania in the News
15th September 2013
Lithuania is Thrust to the Centre Stage of World Affairs
US Secretary of State John Kerry meeting Lithuania’s
President Dalia Grybauskaitė. Photo courtesy
Lithuania was placed in the centre stage of world affairs when US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Vilnius amid the ongoing Syrian crisis. The Secretary of State arrived in Vilnius on Friday night September 6 2013.
During a busy day of important meetings on Saturday September 7 he met Lithuania’s President Grybauskaitė and attended the informal meeting of European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers, where the Syrian crisis was very much on the agenda. All of this was in parallel to President Barrack Obama’s visit to St Petersburg in Russia for the G20 meeting 5–6 September 2013. John Kerry’s visit to Vilnius at virtually the same time cannot be just a coincidence.
US Secretary of State Kerry at the EU Foreign Ministers Meeting
in Vilnius. (L-R) Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius,
US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU Foreign Minister
Catherine Ashton. Photo courtesy
Just prior to the EU Foreign Ministers meeting, Vilnius also hosted the informal meeting of the EU Defence Ministers. Among the many important political leaders present were Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy, and Anders Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO. In Vilnius Secretary Kerry sought support from the EU for the American position on Syria and obtained a very strong condemnation by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, speaking on behalf of the EU Foreign Ministers, on the use of chemical weapons there.
It seems that the idea of Syria giving up its chemical weapons, currently at the centre of international diplomacy, actually took shape in Vilnius. According to the German publication “Die Welt” it was originally conceived by the Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and was presented by him to Secretary Kerry during his visit to Vilnius.

Further information:,,,