The presidents of Estonia and Lithuania met in Vilnius on Wednesday to mark the centenary of de jure diplomatic relations between the two countries and discuss regional issues.
President Kersti Kaljulaid and President of Lithuania Gitanas Nauseda discussed the situation in Belarus and Georgia, the coronavirus response, Astravyets nuclear power plant and green energy.
Kaljulaid also met the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis on Wednesday morning and laid a wreath to those who died for the freedom of Lithuania.
Today in #Vilnius, the President of #Estonia @KerstiKaljulaid, accompanied by the Foreign Minister @GLandsbergis, paid tribute to those who died for the freedom of #Lithuania . pic.twitter.com/qtnBjTBpsq— Lithuania MFA (@LithuaniaMFA) March 3, 2021
She later discussed regional issues, such as COVID-19, vaccination issues, the Eastern Partnership, energy policy and the green transition with Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte.
Kaljulaid also visited Enefit Green to discuss the green transition and the European Humanities University to talk to students.
On Tuesday, Kaljulaid visited Latvia, which celebrated its centenary on the same day. The flags of all three countries were flown outside the Estonian president's office on Tuesday to make the occasion.
On March 2, 1921, Latvia and Lithuania recognized the Republic of Estonia de jure. Estonia had recognized the republics of Latvia and Lithuania de jure in February 1921. By that time, Estonia had won the War of Independence and attained de jure recognition from major powers, so now formal diplomatic communication according to established rules could begin between the three countries.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have always recognized each other as sovereign and independent states from the moment they declared independence.
Just like Estonia, some foreign representations of Latvia and Lithuania also remained open in the free world after the Second World War and continued to operate throughout the occupation period. For example, in the United States, the embassies of Latvia and Lithuania continued to work in Washington and Estonia's consulate general remained open in New York. The diplomats working there often coordinated their actions protected the interests of citizens and preserved the legal continuity of the Baltic States.
In 1991, after liberation from the Soviet occupation, the countries recognized each other again and restored diplomatic relations.
Today, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have close contacts in the European Union, NATO, the Three Seas Initiative, the Council of Baltic Sea States, as well as Baltic (3B) and Nordic-Baltic cooperation (NB8) and in other international cooperation formats.
Editor: Helen Wright