Lithuania - Belarus Relations
Having regard to the decision of 23 May 2021 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommended that citizens of the Republic of Lithuania not to go to the Republic of Belarus and citizens of the Republic of Lithuania to leave the country. On July 7, in response to the continued, systematic and unfriendly actions of the Republic of Belarus (BR) towards Lithuania, the Temporary Chargé d'Affaires of the BR Embassy was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania. According to the decision of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, by midnight on 12 July this year, the diplomatic staff of the Belarusian Embassy in Lithuania must be reduced to one employee (for consular functions), no more than 3 embassy employees may remain for administrative and technical functions. Lithuania took this retaliatory decision in response to the unfriendly actions of the Belarusian authorities on July 6 this year, when official Minsk decided to reduce Lithuania's diplomatic representation in Belarus to a minimum.
On 28 June 2021, Foreign Minister Gabriel Landsbergis commented on the decision of the Belarussian regime to withdraw from the European Union's (EU) Eastern Partnership program. According to the minister, the decision to withdraw from the Eastern Partnership primarily punishes the people of Belarus, and the regime continues to isolate itself. "Illegal leaders do not make such decisions. The people of Belarus are expected to reap the benefits of the Eastern Partnership, but this is likely to happen after the elections. We will call for the non-recognition of any changes in international obligations and sovereignty and revisions made by illegitimate governments. The EU's reform and support proposal for a democratic Belarus remains valid, "said the head of Lithuanian diplomacy.
On 15 June 2021, a meeting took place between Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis and Greek Foreign Minister Nika Dendias, who is visiting Lithuania. The ministers discussed the possibilities of strengthening bilateral co-operation, the situation in the European Union's (EU) neighborhood, topical issues of regional security and EU-Turkey relations. Particular attention was paid to the situation in Belarus and the brutal violations of human rights, democracy and international norms in that country. The ministers of the two countries agreed to continue coordinating their actions in investigating the circumstances of the landing of a passenger aircraft from Athens to Vilnius by the Belarusian regime and to demand that this act of piracy receive an adequate international assessment. "The Belarusian regime is becoming increasingly unpredictable and poses a threat not only to its immediate neighbors, but also to the entire European Union," Landsbergis said, stressing that a hybrid war operation is currently underway against Lithuania, using migration as a weapon.
On December 20, 1991, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania recognized the independence of the Republic of Belarus. On December 27, 1991, the Republic of Belarus recognized the independence of the Republic of Lithuania. The diplomatic relations between Belarus and Lithuania were established on December 30, 1992. In 1993, the Embassy of Belarus opened in Vilnius, and the Embassy of Latvia opened in Minsk. In 1995 two countries signed the Treaty on Good Neighborliness and Cooperation between the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Lithuania, and the Treaty on the Belarusian-Lithuanian State Border.
The most important component of the Belarusian-Lithuanian dialogue is interaction in the fields of culture, education, science, health care, tourism, physical culture and sports. Active cooperation in the field of culture is one of the most priority areas of the bilateral dialogue in the humanitarian affairs. More than 5000 representatives of creative organizations of Belarus and Lithuania annually take part in festivals, concerts, presentations, exhibitions.
The Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Culture between the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania dated November 21, 2001 and the Cultural Cooperation Program being developed for a two-year period, as well as the Agreement between the Ministries of Culture of Belarus and Lithuania on cooperation in the field of protection of historical and cultural heritage dated February 2, 2009 are the legal basis for the development of bilateral relations in the field of culture. Taking into account the common historical past of the two states, various actions are regularly held aimed at popularizing the Belarusian-Lithuanian cultural and historical heritage, perpetuating the memory of common famous persons. In recent years significant events in the cultural cooperation of Belarus and Lithuania have become events timed to the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the outstanding composer, a native of the Minsk region, Stanislav Moniushko, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ferdinand Ruschits, the outstanding scientist of world famous scientist Ignatius Domeyko.
The Days of Belarusian Culture in Lithuania are the most Important cultural events of the Belarusian-Lithuanian cooperation. A lot of creative groups, theater, artists, photographers, musicians, and masters of folk art take part. The Days of Culture are held annually in different cities of Lithuania.
Traditionally, Belarusian musical groups take part in the Mikhail Oginsky International Festival of Classical Music in Plunge (Republic of Lithuania), the International Festival of Russian Sacred Music in Lithuania, at the same time representatives of Lithuania take part in the Minsk International Film Festival “Listapad” and The International Festival “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk ". Belarusian theaters are regular participants in international theater festivals. The performance of the creative association “TriTformat” at the international theater festival “Perekrestok” won in two nominations — “Audience Award” and “The Best Creative Duet”. The collectives of the Belarusian State Academic Theater (BSAMT), the Youth Theater, the Mogilev Drama Theater, the Belarusian Drama Theater and the Gladkov Theater have also noted successful performances in the cities of Lithuania.
Bilateral agreements have been signed and are being implemented on cooperation between museum institutions, including between the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus and the Art Museum of Lithuania, the National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus, the Mir Castle Complex Museum, the Nesvizh Palace and Park Complex and National Museum “Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania”, State Literary Memorial Museum of Yakub Kolas and Literary Museum of A.S. Pushkin (Vilnius), the State Museum of the History of Theater and Musical Culture of the Republic of Belarus and the State Museum of Theater, Music and Cinema of the Republic of Lithuania. Contacts have been established and cooperation of the National Library of Belarus with the M. Mazhvydas Lithuanian National Library, the Library of the Academy of Sciences and the Vilnius University Library.
Interaction in the field of tourism is carried out on the basis of the corresponding Program on Cooperation between the Ministry of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus and the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania. Regular presentations of the tourist and medical potential of sanatoriums and medical institutions in Belarus for Lithuanian tour operators have become common practice.
Cooperation in the field of education develops through close interaction between individual educational institutions — universities, professional institutions, colleges and high schools. On the basis of existing agreements on cooperation between universities of Belarus and Lithuania, students, teachers and scientific personnel are constantly exchanged for joint work in the field of science and education.
Bilateral interaction in the scientific field is carried out within the framework of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on cooperation in the field of science and technology dated January 24, 2008 and the Cooperation Program between the State Committee on Science and Technology of the Republic of Belarus and the Ministry of Education and Science of Lithuania. Republic. In accordance with the Agreement, a bilateral Commission for Cooperation in Science and Technology has been established. Within the framework of this Program, joint projects in various areas are being implemented between scientific organizations of the two countries.
Cooperation in the field of physical culture and sports is developing in the format of organizing friendly meetings on the territories of both states, as well as joint participation in training camps and international competitions in handball, field hockey, basketball, rhythmic gymnastics, pentathlon, water polo, Greco-Roman wrestling etc.
The Agreement between the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania on cooperation in the field of health protection dated 18.05.2015 is the legal basis for the development of cooperation in the field of health care. Interaction between health care institutions is developing through joint development, exchange of experience, specialists, scientific conferences and symposia. In accordance with the agreement between the governments of Belarus and Lithuania dated 06.02.1995, the sanatorium “Belarus” has operated in Druskininkai.
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