President of Lithuania on a working visit to Finland

President Sauli Niinistö and the President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda shake hands at the end of the joint press conference held in the Gothic Hall. Photo: Juhani Kandell/Office of the President of the Republic

The President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda paid a working visit to Finland on Tuesday 5 November 2019. The visit was hosted by President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö.

The topics addressed by Presidents Niinistö and Nausėda in the Presidential Palace included the bilateral relations between Finland and Lithuania, regional cooperation, the European Union and European security, the situation in Ukraine and climate change.

At the joint press conference, President Niinistö said that the relationship between the two countries is excellent. He went on to express his gratitude to President Nausėda for selecting Finland as the first Nordic country to visit in his official capacity. President Nausėda took office in July 2019.

Europe must make its voice heard

“We also talked at length about the European Union. We agreed that we should have a stronger Union,” President Niinistö said. “Unfortunately, we are facing a world which is not only beautiful and smooth as geopolitics has made a comeback along with power politics. Europe must make its voice heard at the tables at which the fate of all mankind is discussed.”

Finland will assume the presidency of the Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) regional cooperation forum in 2021 to be followed by Lithuanian in the following year. The Presidents agreed that the people of Baltic and Nordic countries should get to know one another more closely. “After all, we share a common future in the Baltic Sea Region,” President Niinistö said.

The Presidents also discussed the situation in Ukraine. President Nausėda presented an invitation to the fourth International Ukraine Reform Conference scheduled to be held in Vilnius, Lithuania, in June 2020. President Niinistö responded that Finland will attend to express its support for Ukraine´s new president and government.

After the press conference, the Presidents continued discussions on climate change and the Artic Region over lunch.

During his working visit, President Nausėda also met Prime Minister Antti Rinne and Speaker of the Parliament Matti Vanhanen as well as laying a wreath in the Hietaniemi cemetery.

This was the first meeting between Presidents Niinistö and Nausėda. Lithuania’s former President Dalia Grybauskaitė made an official visit to Finland in 2016. President Niinistö’s last visit to Lithuania took place in February 2018 to attend the centenary celebration of the restoration of Lithuania’s independence.

Video: Joint press conference