(BRUSSELS) ‒ Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė awarded Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Federal Republic of Germany the Grand Cross of the Order of Vytautas the Great. One of the highest state awards of Lithuania was bestowed upon the German Chancellor for her responsible European leadership and personal contribution in strengthening political, defense, economic, cultural, and public cooperation between the two states.
According to the President, the state award is an expression of gratitude on behalf of Lithuania and its people to the German Chancellor for her efforts in strengthening Lithuanian and pan-European security. Responsible and brave stance of the Chancellor has greatly contributed to Germany’s decision to take the leadership of NATO’s forward presence battalion in Lithuania. In the face of threats, we feel an unwavering support of Germany and know that we can rely on it.
Germany understands our regional and pan-European security challenges. We work together in countering cyber and information threats as well as aiming for additional NATO defense measures in the region.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is a model of responsible European leadership. Germany was unwavering in naming Russia’s responsibility for the aggression in Ukraine. The Chancellor’s firm and high-principled position help retaining EU sanctions against Russia. Lithuania and Germany also agree on the necessity to strengthen EU defense capabilities, security and safety of the European people, as well as promote competitiveness of the EU and expand free trade.
Close relations between Lithuania and Germany are reflected in business and people-to-people contacts. Germany is one of the most important economic partners with investments exceeding 1.2 billion euros. German-capital enterprises have created over 17 thousand jobs in Lithuania. We also enjoy intensive public, cultural and scientific cooperation. Lithuanian and German scientists implement some 50 joint research projects. Almost 60 partnerships between cities have been forged. Lithuania is a favored destination of German tourists as more than 170 thousand of them visited Lithuania last year.