It has been a great honour to become the eighth Ambassador of Lithuania to Finland after restoration of diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Finland on August 29, 1991. My appointment in Finland started in October 2020 amid the continuation of unprecedented global pandemic of corona virus. Despite the challenges and constraints that pandemic brought to our daily operation, right after my arrival to Helsinki, I immediately noticed and felt close ties that Lithuanians and Finns enjoy and are eager to maintain and further develop even in the challenging pandemic situation, be it official or people-to-people contacts. And as we commemorate 100 years of de jure diplomatic relations between our countries and thirty years of their restoration, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to all those Lithuanians and Finns who through decades contributed to building the political, societal, economic, cultural, educational and other ties between our nations and in doing so promoted a better understanding and recognition of each other as well as made us all closer neighbours and friends.
During those last thirty years after the restoration of diplomatic relations, the cooperation between Lithuania and Finland has strengthened in many fields. Cooperation with Finland and other Nordic and Baltic countries is of the utmost importance to Lithuania. Finland has been an example of a society firmly built on the principles of true democracy, rule of law and committed to the European values. As Finland is advanced in its modern achievements in high technologies, education, research and development, innovations and many other fields to date, Lithuania is proud of and cherishes the relations and cooperation in these fields with such a neighbour and a friend. Our bilateral cooperation is dynamic and positive. We closely cooperate in the framework of the EU, UN, and other multilateral international organizations. We keep close contacts and cooperation in the regional formats, such as Nordic and Baltic 8 (NB8), especially looking for the common solutions to the common challenges we face - be it security of the Baltic Sea region, or environment, or Covid-19 pandemic. We have the same aim - to share and promote the same democratic values and to enhance security and prosperity of our nations.
Lithuania and Finland, especially on the regional level, still have so many open avenues for cooperation in various fields, including advancing commercial, economic, cultural, scientific, educational and other relations and, of course, people-to-people contacts. In the context of current challenges we face in our region, it is important to continue the efforts in strengthening cooperation in the areas of regional security, energy security, response to hybrid threats.
As Ambassador of Lithuania, I am committed to continue the efforts and activities of my predecessors in promoting friendship and close cooperation between Lithuanian and Finnish people.