Europe And Eurasia: Lithuania National Day
On behalf of the people of the United States and our government, I wish to congratulate all Lithuanians on the 101st anniversary of restoration of your independence. Sveikiname!
Together, over the course of the past year, we have celebrated your centennial anniversary and all that you have achieved since your declaration of independence in 1918. We were proud to host President Grybauskaite at the White House in April 2018, along with the presidents of Estonia and Latvia, for the U.S.-Baltic Centennial Summit and the U.S. Baltic Business Forum. In honor of the Baltic centennial anniversaries, we also hosted over 100 youth from across the region to the United States on U.S. government exchange programs.
Throughout 2018, we amplified our close partnership as Allies, including through major NATO exercises like Saber Strike and BALTOPS in June 2018. We commend and thank Lithuania for its significant contributions to security and stability in the region and beyond, including in Afghanistan and Iraq, and note that Lithuania is already dedicating two percent of its GDP on defense spending. In 2019, Lithuania will celebrate the 15th anniversary of its accession to NATO and we are grateful to have such a steadfast Ally.
In 2019, we commemorate 30 years since the 1989 revolutions including the fall of the Berlin Wall and democratic milestones like the Baltic Way, which ushered in an era of unprecedented freedom and prosperity for the region and for our transatlantic community. The United States is proud to partner with Lithuania in that community. May the next 101 years continue to deepen the strong ties between the United States and Lithuania.