President Dalia Grybauskaitė

Lithuania and Slovenia strengthen relations


Monday, February 29, Ljubljana – During her official visit to Slovenia, President Dalia Grybauskaitė together with the Mayor of Ljubljana opened a photo exhibition dedicated to the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Slovenia. The exhibition “To Freedom. 1989–1991” showcases works by photographer Vytautas Daraškevičius depicting events of historic significance to Lithuania: the Baltic Way, March 11 and January 13.

At the photo exhibition the President met with members of Slovenia’s Lithuanian community.

As she viewed the display, the President underlined that only the will, faith and unity of people can put an end to oppression and bring about change. Such unity, the President said, which made it possible for Lithuania and other nations to gain freedom twenty five years ago continues to be crucial today.  

“The people of Lithuania and Slovenia know what sacrifice for the homeland and its future means. Twenty five years ago our nations were strongly linked together by the bond of unity and solidarity which helped us to overcome oppression and create modern European states. We need such unity today, too, because only united we will be able to deal with the migration and security challenges facing Europe,” the President said at the opening ceremony.

Lithuania was the first to grant de-jure recognition to Slovenia, while Slovenia was among the first to recognize Lithuanian re-independence. Both countries joined NATO and the European Union at the same time. Lithuania and Slovenia, the President said, are also connected by deep respect to freedom and democratic values – the founding stone for knowing each other better, strengthening bilateral relations and people-to-people contacts.

During the President’s visit to Slovenia, special focus is placed on the development of ties between Lithuania and Slovenia in research, education and culture.

At the present moment, Lithuanian and Slovenian scientists are working together on 15 research projects, creating new technologies to diagnose cancer, detect explosives and other hazardous materials. Lithuanian-made lasers are exported to Slovenia. However, the President pointed out, such contacts could be stepped up. The fact that Lithuania and Slovenia are together developing state-of-the-art technologies that enjoy demand throughout the world reveals the high potential of scientific cooperation which can contribute to progress in both countries.

Lithuania and Slovenia also maintain close cultural ties. An agreement on cooperation was signed last year by the library associations of both countries. And it is almost ten years that the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre is participating with great success in the Ljubljana Festival. Lithuanian musical celebrities bring the people of both countries closer together and promote Lithuania worldwide, the President said. It is therefore very important to continue cultural cooperation.

Lithuania and Slovenia are also connected by a unique historical bond. The earliest known depiction of Vilnius, dating back to the 14th century, is safeguarded in the archives of Slovenia. More than 600 years old, it was discovered by Slovenian art historian Janez Hofler.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2016.02.29 20:11