(KHARKOV, UKRAINE) – President Dalia Grybauskaitė launched the Days of Lithuania in Kharkov. It is a traditional event organized by the Lithuanian Embassy in Ukraine, which this year is held in Kharkov and Odessa.
The President pointed out that it was symbolic that the Days of Lithuania were hosted by Kharkov – a city that knew what it meant to defend its freedom. In 2014, pro-Russian separatists tried to take over Kharkov, located in the eastern part of Ukraine, but the national guard, citizens and football fans joined forces to defend the city.
According to the President, history has repeatedly demonstrated that Lithuanians and Ukrainians are friends, neighbors and like-minded nations. We have the same ultimate goals: independence, democracy, Europe. The Days of Lithuania in Kharkov present an opportunity to introduce our country, its culture and music as well as to share the spirit of Lithuania with the Ukrainian people.
The President is visiting Ukraine just 30 hours before Ukrainian nationals will be granted visa free access to Europe. From June 11, they will be able to enjoy unrestricted travels through the European Union. The President underscored that it was a sign for the Ukrainian people that Europe stood with them and that the future of Ukraine was with Europe.
The Days of Lithuania will include a traditional crafts fair and a presentation of study and tourism opportunities in our country. A bilateral business forum, attended by 30 representatives from the Lithuanian business community, will be also held. Lithuania intends to share its tradition of cultural capitals – local cities selected each year to advance regional arts and events.
The Days of Lithuania were started in Ukraine ten years ago. They are aimed at promoting Lithuania, especially in those regions that have a big potential for bilateral cooperation, also at attracting more tourists and students to our country, and developing business contacts.