Vilnius, March 31st. On the occasion of Lithuania’s accession to NATO, President Rolandas Paksas of the Republic of Lithuania sent today letters to the full members of the Alliance.
President Paksas thanked them for their strong and consistent support to Lithuania and the other countries of Central and Eastern Europe in their effort to achieve membership of the Alliance.
“NATO enlargement is a long-awaited and historical step. The people of Lithuania have waited decades for this event. The enlargement of the Alliance redresses the historical wrongs and offers a reward to the nation that has suffered greatly – a reward for deportations to Siberia and the post-war freedom fights, for tremendous losses and for the sacrifice of January 1991,” the President said in his letter.
The President underlined that today NATO is a strong world-wide Alliance that has to adapt to the changing environment by building new mechanisms which help to effectively fight new threats and promote co-operation with partners.
“While seeking NATO membership, our state has become stronger and today is a mature democracy that builds its life on the shared Western values,” the letter said.
The head of state stated in his letter that Lithuania will further contribute to strengthening stability in the region and, as a full member of NATO, will continue its democratic, defence and other reforms.
Press Service of the President