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Seimas to mark the 20th anniversary of Lithuania’s NATO membership

Beata Bruggeman-Sekowska

At the session on Thursday, 28 March, at 10 a.m., the Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament) will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. March 29 marks 20 years since Lithuania’s full accession to NATO.

The Speakers of the celebration will include Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas; Lord George Robertson, Secretary General of NATO in 1999–2003 (remotely); Col Peter Nielsen, Commander of the NATO Force Integration Unit in Lithuania; Arvydas Pocius, Member of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence, Chief of Defence of the Republic of Lithuania in 2009–2014; Žygimantas Pavilionis, Chair of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs; and Oleksandr Korniyenko, First Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (remotely).

The celebration will be livecast on the YouTube channel of the Seimas.  

On 4 January 1994, Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas, President of the Republic of Lithuania, sent a letter to Manfred Wörner, Secretary General of NATO, expressing Lithuania’s ambitions to join the Organisation. The letter contained a position based on the accord on Lithuania’s aspirations to become a NATO member signed by representatives of all the parliamentary parties. On the same day, President Brazauskas issued a statement on Lithuania’s membership of NATO.

In Prague on 21 November 2002, seven NATO candidate countries, namely, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia were invited to open membership negotiations with NATO.

On 10 March 2004, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania ratified the North Atlantic Treaty (Washington Treaty).

During his visit to Washington on 29 March 2004 Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas, Prime Minister of Lithuania, together with the Prime Ministers of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, delivered the letters of ratification of the Washington Treaty to Colin Powell, US Secretary of State. On this historic day, Lithuania became a full member of NATO.

image: presidential palace in Vilnius  ©Communications-Unlimited.nl

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