Dalia Grybauskaitė

Dalia Grybauskaitė (Lithuanian pronunciation: ​[dɐˈlʲɛ ɡʲrʲiːbɐʊsˈkɐ̂ˑɪtʲeː]; born 1 March 1956) is a Lithuanian politician serving as the fifth and current President of Lithuania since 2009. She is the first woman to hold the position and became in 2014 the first President of Lithuania to be reelected for a second consecutive term.[2][3]

Grybauskaitė has served as Minister of Finance, as well as European Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget from 2004 to 2009. She is often referred to as the "Iron Lady" or the "Steel Magnolia".


Dalia Grybauskaitė
Dalia Grybauskaitė 2012-06-13 (1)
5th President of Lithuania
Assumed office
12 July 2009
Prime MinisterAndrius Kubilius
Algirdas Butkevičius
Saulius Skvernelis
Preceded byValdas Adamkus
European Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget
In office
22 November 2004 – 1 July 2009
PresidentJosé Manuel Barroso
Preceded byMichaele Schreyer
Markos Kyprianou (Budget)
Succeeded byAlgirdas Šemeta
European Commissioner for Education and Culture
In office
1 May 2004 – 11 November 2004
Served with Viviane Reding
PresidentRomano Prodi
Preceded byViviane Reding
Succeeded byJán Figeľ (Education, Training, Culture and Multilingualism)
Personal details
Born1 March 1956 (age 63)
Vilnius, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union
Political partyCommunist Party of the Soviet Union (1983–1989)
Communist Party of Lithuania
(1989–1990)
Independent (1990–present)
Alma materSaint Petersburg State University
Net worthUS$1.0 million[1]
Signature
Dalia Grybauskaitė's signature

Early years

Grybauskaitė was born on 1 March 1956 to a working-class family in Vilnius. Her mother, Vitalija Korsakaitė (1922–1989), was born in the Biržai region and worked as a saleswoman. Her father, Polikarpas Grybauskas (1928–2008), was an electrician and driver. Grybauskaitė attended Salomėja Nėris High School. She has two brothers, one living in Lithuania, and the other living in Colorado Springs, in the United States. She has described herself as not among the best students, receiving mostly fours in a system where five was the highest grade. Her favourite subjects were history, geography and physics.[4]

Grybauskaitė began participating in sports at the age of eleven, and became a passionate basketball player.[4] At the age of nineteen, she worked for a year at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society as a staff inspector. She then enrolled in Saint Petersburg State University, then known as Leningrad A.A. Zhdanov State University, as a student of political economy.[5] At the same time, she began working in a local factory in Saint Petersburg. In 1983, Grybauskaitė graduated with a citation and returned to Vilnius, taking a secretarial position at the Academy of Sciences. Work in the Academy was scarce and so she moved to the Vilnius Communist Party High School, where she lectured in political economics and global finance.[5] From 1983 to December 1989, she was a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and after the Communist Party of Lithuania broke away from the CPSU in December 1989, she was member of the CPL until June 1990. In 1988, she defended her PhD thesis at Moscow (Academy of Social Sciences).

In 1990, soon after Lithuania reestablished its independence from the Soviet Union, Grybauskaitė continued her studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Washington D.C., in the Special Programme for senior executives.[6]

Early career

Between 1991 and 1993, Grybauskaitė worked as Director of the European Department at the Ministry of International Economic Relations of the Republic of Lithuania. During 1993, she was employed in the Foreign Ministry as director of the Economic Relations Department, and represented Lithuania when it entered the European Union free trade agreements. She also chaired the Aid Coordination Committee (Phare and the G24). Soon afterwards, she was named Extraordinary Envoy and Plenipotentiary Minister at the Lithuanian Mission to the EU.[6] There, she worked as the deputy chief negotiator for the EU Europe Agreement and as a representative of the National Aid Co-ordination in Brussels.

In 1996, Grybauskaitė was appointed Plenipotentiary Minister in the United States's Lithuanian embassy. She held this position until 1999, when she was appointed deputy Minister of Finance. As part of this role, she led Lithuanian negotiations with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. In 2000, Grybauskaitė became Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, going on in 2001 to become Minister of Finance in the Algirdas Brazauskas government. Lithuania joined the European Union on 1 May 2004, and Grybauskaitė was named a European Commissioner on the same day.[5]

European Commission

Grybauskaitė initially served as European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. She held this position until 11 November 2004, when she was named European Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget within the José Manuel Barroso-led Commission.

In November 2005, Grybauskaitė was named "Commissioner of the Year" in the European Voice Europeans of the Year poll. She was nominated "for her unrelenting efforts to shift EU spending towards areas that would enhance competitiveness such as research and development." She commented:[7]

I don't usually participate in contests, so this is a very pleasant surprise for me. I consider it a distinction not for me personally, but for all the new EU Member States, both small and large, as an acknowledgment of their bringing a new and fresh perspective to the EU. I think that it's also a prize for having the courage to speak the often difficult truth and to point out the real price of political rhetoric in Europe. As for results, we still have to wait for them. An agreement on the budget for 2007–2013, which Europe really needs, is most important.

As Financial and Budget Commissioner, she strongly criticized the EU budget, stating it was "...not a budget for the 21st century."[8] The majority of the EU budget was spent on agricultural programmes. Grybauskaitė presented a 2008 EU budget in which, for the first time in its history, spending on growth and employment constituted the highest share of the budget, exceeding that of agriculture and natural resources.[9] She frequently criticised the Lithuanian Government, headed by Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas, for its lack of response to the approaching financial crisis.[10]

2009 presidential election

On 26 February 2009, Grybauskaitė officially announced her candidacy for the 2009 presidential election. In her declaration speech, she said:

I decided to return to Lithuania if the Lithuanian people decide I am needed there now. I think that we all long for the truth, transparency and responsibility for our country. We all want to live without fear, with confidence in ourselves, in each other, and in tomorrow. I can and I want to contribute with my experience, knowledge and skills to expel shadows from morality, politics, and economics to create a citizen-ruled Lithuania – a state of citizens. Therefore, I will run for the Lithuanian presidency.[11]

2009 m. Respublikos Prezidento rinkimai Dalia Grybauskaitė 0
Grybauskaitė giving an interview during her 2009 presidential campaign.

There were three women and four men as presidential candidates. Opinion polls taken in February 2009 showed that Grybauskaitė was the undisputed leader in the race.[12] She ran as an independent, although she was supported by the dominant Conservative Party as well as by NGOs, including Sąjūdis.[13][14]

Her campaign was primarily focused on domestic issues. After years of strong economic growth, Lithuania faced a deep recession, with double-digit declines in economic indicators. The unemployment rate rose to 15.5% in March 2009, and a January street protest against the government's response to the recession turned violent.[15] During the campaign, Grybauskaitė stressed the need to combat the financial troubles by protecting those with the lowest incomes, simplifying the Lithuanian bureaucratic apparatus, and reviewing the government's investment programme.[16] She also promised a more balanced approach in conducting foreign policy, the primary constitutional role of the Lithuanian presidency.

2009 m. Respublikos Prezidento rinkimai Dalia grybauskaitė 2
Grybauskaitė celebrating her landslide victory in 2009.

The election was held on 17 May 2009. Grybauskaitė won in a landslide, receiving 69.1% of the valid vote.[17] The 51.6% turnout was just above the threshold needed to avoid a runoff election.[18] In winning the election, Grybauskaitė became not only the first female president of Lithuania, but won by the largest margin recorded for a free election in Lithuania.[19]

Political analysts attributed the easy victory to Grybauskaitė's financial competence and her ability to avoid domestic scandals.[18] The international press was quick to dub her the "Lithuanian Iron Lady" for her outspoken speech and her black belt in karate.[20][21] Grybauskaitė, who speaks Lithuanian, English, Russian, French and Polish,[20] has mentioned Margaret Thatcher and Mahatma Gandhi as her political role models.[22]

Presidency (2009–present)

Lithuanian army commander Arvydas Pocius Presidential Inauguration 2
Grybauskaitė inaugurating Arvydas Pocius as the commander of the Lithuanian Armed Forces on 28 July 2009.
Secretary Kerry Meets With Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė (2)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Grybauskaitė in Vilnius, 7 September 2013
Pocius and Grybauskaite
Grybauskaitė and Chief of Defence of Lithuania Arvydas Pocius.

Grybauskaitė assumed presidential duties on 12 July 2009, and accepted half of her presidential salary (312,000 litas).[15] Her first presidential visits abroad were made to Sweden and Latvia;[23] in April 2011, she made a state visit to Norway.[24] Grybauskaitė supported the NATO-led military intervention in Libya.[25]

On 19 December 2013, Grybauskaitė decided to boycott the Sochi Winter Olympics together with other Western leaders, including German president Joachim Gauck, French president François Hollande, and the US president Barack Obama, due to Russia's human rights violations, attitudes and behaviour with Eastern partners and Lithuania.[26]

In 2014, Grybauskaitė was reelected President. She received 46% of the vote in the first round, and defeated Zigmantas Balčytis of the Social Democratic Party in the run-off with 58% of the vote.

Foreign policy

Relations with Russia

Petro Poroshenko and Dalia Grybauskaitė in Kiev, December 2016.jpeg
Grybauskaitė and Petro Poroshenko in Kiev, Ukraine, December 2016
Dalia Grybauskaitė MSC 2017
Grybauskaitė during the 53rd Munich Security Conference 2017

Grybauskaitė called the dependence on Russian gas an "existential threat" to Lithuania.[27]

Following her reelection in May 2014, she said "Dignity, self-respect and mutual benefit, these are the principles that should set the basis for relations between countries and no doubt, knowing that this is our neighbor, we wish this country to democratize and cope with the arising economic challenges".[28]

In June 2014, Grybauskaitė told the German news magazine Focus: "[Putin] uses nationality as a pretext to conquer territory with military means. That's exactly what Stalin and Hitler did." She also claimed that Russia and Putin were "characterised by aggressiveness, violence, and a willingness to overstep boundaries."[29]

On 20 November 2014, Grybauskaitė, commenting on the conflict in Ukraine, characterized Russia as "a terrorist state which carries out an open aggression against its neighbors".[30]

In June 2018, Grybauskaitė said that Lithuania should be ready for Russian invasion. She also said that Western states will "wake up" only "when they have been attacked" by Russia.[31]

In December 2018, Grybauskaitė told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that Lithuania would increase military assistance to Ukraine: "We will additionally supply more ammunition, send more military instructors and cyber security experts to help repel hybrid attacks, especially during the elections."[32]

Relations with the EU and United States

In December 2014, Grybauskaitė said that Lithuania will have to take the responsibility for the secret CIA-operated prison in Lithuania.[33]

Regarding British Prime Minister Theresa May's comments on acting as a "bridge" between the European Union and the United States, Grybauskaitė said that "I don't think there is a necessity for a bridge. We communicate with the Americans on Twitter."[34][35] In March 2017, Grybauskaitė criticized the government of Poland and Prime Minister Beata Szydło for not endorsing Donald Tusk again for the President of the European Council.[36]

Brexit

In January 2019 Grybauskaitė said a "no-deal Brexit" would be better than delaying Brexit. She said the EU would negotiate mini or sectoral arrangements to mitigate a no-deal scenario.[37]

Personal life

Grybauskaitė is unmarried and has no children. In addition to her native Lithuanian, she is fluent in English, Russian and Polish, and also speaks French.[38] Grybauskaitė has a black belt in karate.[39]

Awards

Grybauskaitė has received the following national and international awards:

Year Award Issuer
2003 The Commander's Cross of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas Lithuania
2009 The Order of Vytautas the Great with the Golden Chain[40] Lithuania
2011 Commander Grand Cross with Chain of the Order of the Three Stars[41] Latvia
2011 Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav[42][43] Norway
2011 Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Falcon[44] Iceland
2012 Member of Xirka Ġieħ ir-Repubblika Malta
2012 Grand Officer of the Order of Saint-Charles[45][46] Monaco
2013 Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the White Rose of Finland[47] Finland
2013 Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana[47] Estonia
2013 Gran Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Germany
2013 Charlemagne Prize for 2013[48] Aachen
2015 Order of the Republic[49] Moldova
2015 Collar of the Order pro merito Melitensi SNOM
2015 Knight of the Order of the Seraphim[50] Sweden
2016 Order for Exceptional Merits[51] Slovenia
2016 Collar of the Order of the Star of Romania Romania
2018 Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion[52] Netherlands
2018 Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic with Collar[53] Italy
2018 Member of the Order of Liberty[54] Ukraine
2019 Knight of the Order of the White Eagle[55] Poland

References

  1. ^ "VMI duomenys: Dalios Grybauskaitės turtas ir santaupos per metus išaugo 27 tūkst. eurų". 15min.lt.
  2. ^ "Lithuania's first female president sworn in for second term". EuroNews. 12 July 2014.
  3. ^ Skard, Torild (2014) "Kazimiera Prunskiene and Dalia Grybauskaite" in Women of power – half a century of female presidents and prime ministers worldwide, Bristol: Policy Press, ISBN 978-1-44731-578-0, pp. 335–40.
  4. ^ a b Jablonskaitė, Dovilė (7 March 2009). "Mąslių akių mergaitė" (in Lithuanian). Klaipėda diena. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  5. ^ a b c Grybauskaitė, Dalia. "Apie Mane" (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  6. ^ a b "Curriculum Vitae of Dr. Dalia Grybauskaitė". European Commission. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  7. ^ "Dalia Grybauskaitė News 2005". European Commission. 29 November 2005. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  8. ^ "Grybauskaite: "Today's budget is not a budget for the 21st century"". 1 August 2005. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  9. ^ "The 2008 EC Budget" (PDF). European Union Committee. Retrieved 19 May 2009.
  10. ^ "D.Grybauskaitė: kritika Lietuvai – oficiali EK nuomonė". Delfi.lt. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2009.
  11. ^ "D. Grybauskaitė sieks prezidento posto" (in Lithuanian). Lithuanian National Radio and Television. 26 February 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009. Aš apsisprendžiau, kad sutinku grįžti į ietuvą, jei Lietuvos žmonės nuspręs, kad esu reikalinga dabar Lietuvoje. Manau, kad visi esame pasiilgę tiesos, skaidrumo ir atsakomybės už savo šalį. Norime visi gyventi be baimės, pasitikėdami savimi, vienas kitu ir rytojumi. Galiu ir noriu skirti savo patirtį, žinias bei gebėjimus tam, kad išguitume šešėlius iš moralės, politikos, ekonomikos ir sukurtume tokią piliečių Lietuvą, piliečių valstybę. Todėl dalyvausiu Lietuvos prezidento rinkimuose.
  12. ^ "Po D.Grybauskaitės apsisprendimo politologai nemato jai konkurencijos" (in Lithuanian). Lietuvos rytas. 26 February 2009. Archived from the original on 1 March 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  13. ^ "Lithuanians vote in female president". Deutsche Welle. 18 May 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  14. ^ "Lietuvos Sąjūdis nusprendė paremti D.Grybauskaitę" (in Lithuanian). Klaipėda diena. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  15. ^ a b "Lithuania president-elect vows to fight recession". Associated Press , reprinted by CBC News. 18 May 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  16. ^ "Grybauskaitė: reikia taupyti biurokratų, o ne paprastų žmonių sąskaita" (in Lithuanian). Alfa.lt. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  17. ^ "Central Electoral Committee of the Republic of Lithuania, European Election Database". vrk.lt.
  18. ^ a b "Lithuania gets first woman leader". BBC News. 18 May 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2009.
  19. ^ "Šampanas iššautas: D.Grybauskaitė be didesnės konkurencijos išrinkta Lietuvos prezidente" (in Lithuanian). Lietuvos rytas. 20 May 2009. Archived from the original on 21 May 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  20. ^ a b "Dalia Grybauskaite: Lithuania's 'Iron Lady'". Khaleej Times Online. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2009.
  21. ^ "D. Grybauskaitę vadina Lietuvos "geležine ledi"". Lithuanian National Radio and Television. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2009.
  22. ^ "Lithuania elects first female president". ABC News (Australia). 18 May 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  23. ^ Premjeras prezidentės pirmojo vizito į Švediją nelaiko posūkiu užsienio politikoje. Retrieved on 7 October 2009
  24. ^ "Det Norske Kongehus". kongehuset.no.
  25. ^ "Libya: Where do Nato countries stand?". BBC News. 21 April 2011.
  26. ^ Prezidentė Dalia Grybauskaitė į Sočio žiemos olimpines žaidynes nevyks (in Lithuanian)
  27. ^ "Lithuania's president wins second term on anti-Russia platform". Reuters. 26 May 2014.
  28. ^ Sputnik (26 May 2014). "Re-Elected Lithuanian President Hopes for Friendly Relations With Russia". ria.ru. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  29. ^ "Lithuanian president compares Putin to Hitler and Stalin-magazine". Reuters. 22 June 2014.
  30. ^ "Dalia Grybauskaitė: Rusija yra teroristinė valstybė". 15min.lt. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  31. ^ "Lithuanian leader says Western powers naive about Russia: report". Radio Poland. 20 June 2018.
  32. ^ "Lithuania imposes sanctions on Russian citizens involved in Kerch Strait incident". TASS. 7 December 2018.
  33. ^ "President Grybauskaitė: Lithuania will have to accept responsibility, if CIA prison allegations prove correct". The Lithuanian Tribune. 10 December 2014.
  34. ^ Boffey, Daniel (3 February 2017). "François Hollande leads attacks on Donald Trump at EU summit". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  35. ^ Boffey, Daniel; Walker, Peter (3 February 2017). "EU leaders round on Trump and reject May's bridge-building efforts". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  36. ^ S.A., Wirtualna Polska Media (17 July 2014). "Prezydent Litwy Dalia Grybauskaite: nie damy się Polakom". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  37. ^ https://www.politico.eu/article/lithuanian-president-no-deal-brexit-better-than-chaos-of-delay/
  38. ^ "Curriculum Vitae of Dr. Dalia Grybauskaitė". European Commission. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  39. ^ Adams, William Lee (16 September 2011). "Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania". Time.
  40. ^ Lithuanian Presidency Archived 19 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Lithuanian Orders searching form
  41. ^ List of recipients of the Order of the Three Stars since 2004 Archived 10 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine (.doc file)
  42. ^ "President of the Republic of Lithuania". lrp.lt. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  43. ^ "Noblesse et Royautés" Archived 15 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine (French), State visit photos
  44. ^ Icelandic Presidency Website (Icelandic), Order of the Falcon, Grybauskaite, Dalia Archived 13 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine, 25 August 2011
  45. ^ Sovereign Ordonnance n° 3987 of 15 October 2012 (French)
  46. ^ Video of the state visit of Monaco in Lithuania 15 October 2012
  47. ^ a b "Prezidentė Dalia Grybauskaitė". lrp.lt. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  48. ^ "Grybauskaite: responsible leadership strengthens Europe". The Baltic Course.
  49. ^ "RECOMANDĂRILE preşedintelui Lituaniei pentru ca Moldova să se integreze cât mai repede în UE". publika.md.
  50. ^ "Švedijos karališkasis vizitas – šalių bendrystės įtvirtinimas". lrp.lt. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  51. ^ "Red za izredne zasluge" [Order for Exceptional Merits] (in Slovenian). President of the Republic of Slovenia. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  52. ^ State visit to Lithuania
  53. ^ Lithuania and Italy stand united against challenges
  54. ^ "President of the Republic of Lithuania". lrp.lt.
  55. ^ https://www.lrp.lt/en/

External links

Political offices
New office Lithuanian European Commissioner
2004–2009
Succeeded by
Algirdas Šemeta
Preceded by
Viviane Reding
European Commissioner for Education and Culture
2004
Served alongside: Viviane Reding
Succeeded by
Ján Figeľ
as European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Multilingualism
Preceded by
Michaele Schreyer
Markos Kyprianou

as European Commissioner for the Budget
European Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget
2004–2009
Succeeded by
Algirdas Šemeta
Preceded by
Valdas Adamkus
President of Lithuania
2009–present
Incumbent
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Tarja Halonen
Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders
2014–present
Incumbent
2009 Lithuanian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Lithuania on 17 May 2009. A run-off would have been held on 7 June 2009, but was not necessary as Dalia Grybauskaitė was elected with 69 percent of the vote, with voter turnout just over the 50% threshold for the result to be validated. She took office on 12 July as the country's first female president.

This was only the second time since the restoration of independence that a Lithuanian president was elected without the need for a runoff, the first being in 1993, when Algirdas Brazauskas was elected with 61 percent in the first round.

2014 Lithuanian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Lithuania on 11 May 2014, with a second round held on 25 May between the top two candidates from the first round. In the second round, incumbent President Dalia Grybauskaitė was re-elected with 58% of the vote.

2014 in Lithuania

Events in the year 2014 in Lithuania.

2019 Lithuanian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Lithuania on 12 May 2019, with a second round to be held on 26 May 2019. No candidate obtained 50% of the vote in the first round, resulting in a second round between the top two candidates, Ingrida Šimonytė and Gitanas Nausėda.

Due to a constitutional limit of two terms in office, incumbent president Dalia Grybauskaitė was unable to run, having won the 2009 and 2014 elections.

2019 in Lithuania

Events of 2019 in Lithuania.

Fortum Klaipėda Combined Heat and Power Plant

Fortum Klaipėda Combined Heat and Power Plant is power plant in Klaipėda, Lithuania and it uses biomass and waste to produce energy. It built in Klaipėda Free Economic Zone by Fortum Heat Lithuania which belongs to Finnish energy company Fortum.

Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė and Finnish president Sauli Niinistö both participated in the opening ceremony of the plant.

International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania

The International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania is a commission appointed by the President of Lithuania, Valdas Adamkus, by presidential decree on 7 September 1998. The Commission is tasked with investigating the crimes committed during the occupation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union and Germany that lasted from 14 June 1940 to 11 March 1990. The commission consists of two subcommissions, each dealing with the 48 years of Soviet occupation and the 3 years of German occupation respectively. The Chairman of the Commission is Emanuelis Zingeris MP (since 1998). The Commission is a member institution of the European Union's Platform of European Memory and Conscience.

In 2012, financing of the commission was renewed by presidential decree by President Dalia Grybauskaitė and new commission members appointed. The new commission members include Dina Porat and Arkadiy Zeltser (both of Yad Vashem), Andrew Baker (of the American Jewish Committee), Saulius Sužiedėlis (of Millersville University), Kęstutis Grinius (of Vilnius University), Alexander Daniel (of Memorial), Nicolas Lane (of the American Jewish Committee), Timothy D. Snyder (of Yale University), Françoise Thom (of Sorbonne University), Janos M. Rainer, and Arvydas Anušauskas (chairman of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defense). Emanuelis Zingeris was again appointed chairman of the commission.

Katherine Copely

Katherine Leigh Copely, M.D. (born January 9, 1988) is an American ice dancer who competed internationally for Lithuania. With partner Deividas Stagniūnas, she is the 4 time Lithuanian national champion and 2 time Bronze Medalist Golden Spin of Zagreb. Together they qualified for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada after placing in the top 20 at the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships in Los Angeles, California. She received her medical degree in 2018 from Central Michigan University College of Medicine.

Copely partnered with Duke Wensel in 2002. They competed until 2004 on the novice and junior levels. From 2004 to 2006, Copely skated at the junior level with Patrick Connelly. She teamed up with Stagniunas in 2006 to compete for Lithuania. Though they qualified, the team was subsequently prevented from competing at the 2010 Winter Olympics as Katherine was denied Lithuanian citizenship by then president Dalia Grybauskaitė Her brother is American ice dancer/coach/choreographer Dean Copely. Her mother is the respected skating costume designer Sandra Copely. Katherine will specialize in Diagnostic Radiology.

List of rulers of Lithuania

The following is a list of rulers over Lithuania—grand dukes, kings, and presidents—the heads of authority over historical Lithuanian territory. The timeline includes Lithuania as a sovereign entity or legitimately part of a greater sovereign entity, as well as Lithuania under control or occupation of an outside authority (i.e. Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic). The incumbents and office-holders are listed by names most commonly used in English language. Where appropriate, the alternatives in Lithuanian, Ruthenian (later Belarusian) and Polish are included.

The state of Lithuania was formed in the 1230s: when threatened by the Livonian Order in the north and the Teutonic Knights in the west, the Baltic tribes united under the leadership of Mindaugas. He became the only crowned king of Lithuania. His state became known as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. After Grand Duke Jogaila became also king of Poland in 1386, the two states became more closely connected, and from 1440 both were ruled by a common ruler. In 1569 the Union of Lublin was signed and a new entity—the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth—emerged. The commonwealth was partitioned in 1795 and Lithuania became part of the Russian Empire until 16 February 1918. The Council of Lithuania was able to establish the country's sovereignty only in 1919, after the end of World War I. The first republic of Lithuania existed until 1940, when it was occupied by the Soviet Union. During the Soviet-German War, Lithuania was occupied by Nazi Germany. In 1944, as Germany was losing the war, Russia re-occupied Lithuania and established the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare independence. The restored Republic of Lithuania is a democratic republic, a member of both the European Union and NATO.

Lithuania at the 2014 Winter Olympics

Lithuania competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia from 7 to 23 February 2014. The team consists of nine athletes competing in five sports. The nine athletes mark the most athletes the country has ever qualified for a Winter Olympics.On 19 December 2013 in Brussels, Belgium Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė stated that she won't go to the Games due to Russia’s politics and said "Amid the current situation where I see human rights violations, as well as an attitude towards and treatment of Eastern Partners, including Lithuania, and the economic sanctions that have been applied against Lithuania, I do not see a political possibility of going to the Sochi Games".

Lituanica SAT-1

LituanicaSAT-1 was one of the two first Lithuanian satellites (other one being LitSat-1). It was launched along with the second Cygnus spacecraft and 28 Flock-1 CubeSats aboard an Antares 120 carrier rocket flying from Pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island to the International Space Station. The launch was scheduled to occur in December 2013, but later was rescheduled to 9 January 2014 and occurred then. The satellite was broadcasting greetings of Lithuanian president, Mrs. Dalia Grybauskaitė. The satellite was deployed from the International Space Station via the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer on February 28, 2014. All LituanicaSAT-1 subsystems have been turned on, tested and proved to be working properly. The mission is considered a complete success by its team of engineers. The mission ended upon the reentry and disintegration of the satellite on July 28, 2014.

Minaičiai

Minaičiai or Mėnaičiai is a village in Lithuania, located on the Šušvė River. It has a primary school. According to the 2011 census, it had 179 residents.After World War II, the homestead of Stanislovas Miknius hid a bunker of Leonardas Grigonis (codename Užpalis), commander of the Lithuanian partisans of the Resurrection District (Prisikėlimo apygarda). In February 1949, the village was a meeting place of the commanders of the Lithuanian partisans, who established the Union of Lithuanian Freedom Fighters. In spring 1949, the partisans left the village and the bunker was destroyed by Miknius. In 2004, during a construction work, Miknius family found a hidden milk can with more than 2000 pages of various partisan documents. In November 2010, the partisan bunker was reconstructed; it displays a small exhibit of partisan documents and other items. The opening ceremony was attended by President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė.

Politics of Lithuania

Politics of Lithuania takes place in a framework of a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Lithuania is the head of state and the Prime Minister of Lithuania is the head of government, and of a multi-party system.

Executive power is exercised by the President and the Government, which is headed by the Prime Minister. Legislative power is vested in both the Government and the unicameral Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament). Judicial power is vested in judges appointed by the President of Lithuania and is independent of executive and legislature power. The judiciary consists of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeal as well as the separate administrative courts. The Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania established these powers upon its approval on 25 October 1992. Being a multi-party system, the government of Lithuania is not dominated by any single political party, rather it consists of numerous parties that must work with each other to form coalition governments. The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated Lithuania as "flawed democracy" in 2016.

Pranas Končius

Pranas Končius code name Adomas (born in 1911 in Bargaliai, Kretinga district) was the last anti-Soviet Lithuanian partisan killed in action. He was shot by MVD forces on July 6, 1965 (or according to other sources shot himself in order not to be captured on July 13). There still were remaining anti-Soviet partisans, who legalised themselves later or lived illegally for decades to come.

Before World War II, Končius served in the Lithuanian Army. He also participated in the anti-Soviet June Uprising in 1941. In 2000 he was posthumously awarded the Cross of Vytis. In September 2015 president of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė signed a decree which took away the award due to being involved in the Holocaust.

Saulius Skvernelis

Saulius Skvernelis (born 23 July 1970) is a Lithuanian politician who has been Prime Minister of Lithuania since 2016. He is also a member of the Seimas. Previously he served as police commissioner, and he was Minister of the Interior from 2014 to 2016.

Skvernelis Cabinet

Skvernelis Cabinet is the 17th cabinet of Lithuania since 1990. It consists of the Prime Minister, who is the Head of Government, and 14 government ministers from the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union and the Social Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania.

Valdas Adamkus

Valdas Adamkus ([ˈvɐ̂ˑɫdɐs ɐˈdɐmˑkʊs] (listen); born Voldemaras Adamkavičius; 3 November 1926) is a Lithuanian politician. He was the President of Lithuania from 1998 to 2003 and again from 2004 to 2009.

In Lithuania, the President's tenure lasts for five years; Adamkus' first term in office began on 26 February 1998 and ended on 28 February 2003, following his defeat by Rolandas Paksas in the next presidential election. Paksas was later impeached and removed from office by a parliamentary vote on 6 April 2004. Soon afterwards, when a new election was announced, Adamkus again ran for president and was re-elected. His approval ratings were high and he was regarded as a moral authority in the state. He was succeeded as the president on 12 July 2009 by Dalia Grybauskaitė.

He is married to Alma Adamkienė, who is involved in charitable activities in Lithuania. Following the end of his term as president, Adamkus remained involved in international development, and a member of the European Academy of Diplomacy.

Valdemar Tomaševski

Valdemar Tomaševski (Polish: Waldemar Tomaszewski, born 3 March 1965) is a Polish-Lithuanian politician who is also an activist for the Polish minority in Lithuania and Member of the European Parliament (MEP). Leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania (LLRA), Tomaševski has been an MEP since 2009. He sits in the European Conservatives and Reformists group, of which he is a Member of the Bureau on the group executive.

First elected to Vilnius district council for Electoral Action in 1995, Tomaševski was elected President of LLRaL in 1999. He was first elected to the Seimas at the 2000 election, winning 51% of the vote in the single-seat constituency of Šalčininkai. In the same year, he became deputy mayor of Vilnius district, serving from 2000 to 2003. Finding himself as one of only two LLRA members in the Seimas, during the parliamentary term, he moved between factions, including Homeland Union and Order and Justice.

Tomaševski was re-elected to the Seimas in 2004 with 63% of the vote: one of five candidates in the country elected in the first round. He was re-elected again at the 2008 election, winning 61% of the vote: eight times his nearest competitor's share. In the May 2009 presidential election, he became the first presidential candidate nominated by LLRA. Receiving 4.7% of the national vote, Tomaševski finished fourth, with Dalia Grybauskaitė winning comfortably.

The following month, he stood for election to the European Parliament. Winning 8.4% of the vote, up from 5.7% in 2004, LLRA won its first ever MEP, with Tomaševski topping the list and being elected. He joined the European Conservatives and Reformists, and was appointed to the group's bureau. He was reelected for another term in 2014.

He has been awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.

Žemaitkiemis meteorite

Žemaitkiemis meteorite is an ordinary chondrite that fell near Žemaitkiemis, Lithuania at about 8:33 pm on 2 February 1933. Using the argon–argon dating method, scientists have calculated its age to be about 520 million years.

The fall was observed by the Koenigsberg Observatory. Since the meteorite fell near inhabited areas during winter, it was rather easy to locate the fragments in the snow. In total, 20 fragments with a combined weight of 42.2 kilograms (93 lb) were collected and donated to the Vytautas Magnus University. The largest pieces weighted 7,258 and 7,080 grams (256.0 and 249.7 oz). Two other fragments were gifted later – 36.6 grams (1.29 oz) and 1,840 grams (65 oz) – to the Institute of Geology and Geography in Vilnius. There were also reports of a 10 kilograms (22 lb) fragment found about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from Žemaitkiemis in 1938. More pieces likely fell into the Kliepšiai Lake or were kept by the locals.The main mass, two largest fragments and 13 other fragments, are held by the Geology Museum of Vilnius University. Other fragments are held by: 2.1 kilograms (4.6 lb) by the National Museum in Prague, 1.1 kilograms (2.4 lb) by the Russian Academy of Science, 636 grams (22.4 oz) by the Natural History Museum in London, 69 grams (2.4 oz) by the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, 33 grams (1.2 oz) by the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, 13.9 grams (0.49 oz) by the Geological Survey of Canada, and others.On 14 July 2017, President Dalia Grybauskaitė approved a coat of arms of Žemaitkiemis that features the meteorite fall.

Presidents (1919–1940)
LKP First Secretaries2
Presidents (since 1990)
Leaders of NATO member states
Recipients of the Charlemagne Prize
1950–1975
1976–2000
2001–present

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