WASHINGTON-VILNIUS - Lithuanian diplomats in the United States have embarked upon a public relations campaign to improve the country's image, which has been tarnished by the ongoing impeachment scandal.
The Foreign Ministry reported that the Ambassador to the U.S. Vygaudas Usackas made a presentation about the country at the prestigious Smithsonian Institution. Usackas said that the seminar, titled "The New Baltic: East to West," aimed to dispel the dismal image associated with Lithuania.
"My mission today is not only to present Lithuania, but also to dispel the 'gloomy and dull' image of the country," Usackas said at the seminar, the advertisement of which described the Baltic region as "gray and cold" and "under a political shadow."
According to a press release from the Foreign Ministry, Usackas acquainted attendants of the seminar with Lithuania's achievements after the restoration of its independence, as well as the country's regional role and coming entry into the European Union and NATO. He also detailed Lithuania's contribution to the defense of freedom, democracy and human rights in the world, highlighting cooperative projects with Georgia and other Caucasus countries.
Usackas invited Americans to examine opportunities in Lithuania for investment and tourism.
"An American tourist who arrives in Lithuania finds there the whole gamut of colors, dynamic and active cultural life, unique architecture, friendly and joyful people, cities full of energy and potential," the ambassador said, urging people to discover Lithuania in the near future.
The ambassador's report may be considered one of the attempts to rescue Lithuania's image from damage incurred by the Baltic country's ongoing presidential scandal.
After returning from his official visit to the U.S. last week, Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis stated that Lithuania had heard that Western democracies were expecting the resignation of President Rolandas Paksas. The U.S. ambassador to Lithuania dismissed such statements as unofficial.