Lithuanian prime minister congratulates Georgia on independence

  • 2015-05-26
  • From wire reports and TBT staff, VILNIUS

May 26 saw Lithuania’s prime minister, Algirdas Butkevicius, congratulate Georgia on its Independence Day. 

Georgia gained independence from the Soviet Union on March 31 1991. Prior to being incorporated into the USSR’s territory in 1924, Georgia experienced a brief period of independence from the Russian empire when it signed the Act of Independence on May 26 1918, which established the Democratic Republic of Georgia. 

In a letter from Butkevicius to his Georgian counterpart, Irakli Garibashvili, the Lithuanian PM said: “Personally, and on behalf of the government, I congratulate the people of Georgia on their independence. 

“Lithuania is glad about the warm bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as the developing human relations. I wish your country to prosper and be well.”

In a ceremony entitled The Lithuanian and Georgian Flags of Freedom Road, a group of school pupils gathered on Cathedral Square in Vilnius.

The group held a giant Georgian flag surrounded by a Lithuanian flag.

The event was intended to signify the unity of the Lithuanian and Georgian peoples. 

“It is a particular pleasure to see here today the representatives of Lithuanian youth, holding these two flags,” said Georgian Ambassador to Lithuania, Khatuna Salukvadze. 

“Ninety-seven years ago, in 1918, the dream of our ancestors came true and Georgia declared independence, setting itself on the European course as a democratic republic. 

“The nice picture that we see today, two beautiful flags of Lithuania and Georgia embraced in colourful harmony, symbolises the friendship of Lithuanian and Georgian people, who love the freedom of their countries and uphold democratic values. 

“I want to thank Lithuanian people for this support, and for being with Georgia throughout all these years and on this day. 

“As our flags are intertwined today, so are intertwined our freedom roads.”

The ceremony was attended by a number of high-profile Lithuanian public figures, including president Dalia Grybauskaite, Vilnius mayor Remigijus Simasius and Vytautas Landsbergis - Lithuania’s first head of state after it declared independence from the USSR in 1991.