Lithuania in the news
28th November, 2004
Important International Role for Lithuania
President Adamkus with
Ukrainian presidential contenders
V.Yushchenko (left) and V.Yanukovych (right)
Lithuania was cast in the important role of mediator in the current Ukrainian election crisis, when President Valdas Adamkus of Lithuania and President Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland were asked by the outgoing Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma to come to Kiev to mediate among the Ukrainian presidential candidates Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych. Yushchenko's supporters agreed to talk to Yanukovych only with the help of the trusted intermediaries Adamkus and Kwasniewski, whose efforts resulted in the opposing sides beginning to talk to each other.
President Adamkus
(first from right)
at the negotiating table.
Photo courtesy ELTA
Political commentators have interpreted Adamkus' invitation as an endorsement and recognition of Lithuania's foreign policy groundwork. USA embassy in Vilnius said that this mission shows the respect in which Lithuania is held by other countries. Vienna's newspaper "Kurier" declared that if Lithuania and Poland can assist with the solution of the Ukrainian crisis, the recent European Union expansion will have been shown to have repaid itself over and over. President Adamkus has already had to make a second mediation trip to Kiev last Wednesday (1/12/04) and says will make further trips if necessary.

Sources: 28/11/04, The Independent 26/11/04, 27/11/04