VILNIUS – The government announced on Wednesday that it planned to establish a new research center that will help the Baltic country monitor and analyze international events.
Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis told reporters that if Lithuania wanted to become a regional leader as it has expressed an interest in doing, it needed the Center for Strategic Research and Analysis to draft tactical and strategic programs.
Valionis said that acting President Arturas Paulauskas was to discuss the matter with Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas.
For his part, the president said that Lithuania needed to strengthen its analytic capabilities if it was to initiate various projects and affect foreign policy.
"The state needs at least one strong strategic analysis center with a good name on the international arena," Paulauskas said in a speech last week.
Egidijus Motieka, the acting president's adviser for strategy and analysis, said the center's main activities would include coordination of drafting of the state strategic programs and documents. The center would prepare long- and medium-term foreign policy, geopolitical, cultural policy and other strategies, the Baltic News Service reported.
The number of staff to be employed at the center and costs were unclear.
Valionis said that the center should be established by the state. He also suggested it be created by the end of the year, with preconditions ensured before Paulauskas is replaced by a newly-elected president.