From The Lithuania News Today History Archive: Maintaining the integrity of the nation state has been a long and continuing process
The last couple of months have seen unprecedented activity in the history of relations between Lithuania and Russia.
The two countries have done what they could not do before.
They have made substantial progress on numerous tough and thorny issues. Both countries have signed and promptly ratified several important bilateral treaties. Both have tried hard to moderate the damaging rhetoric at home.
Yet what gives even more grounds for optimism is the fact that finally, after six years of delay, Russia has ratified two basic treaties, the Treaty on the State Border and the Treaty on the Delimitation …
On 23 August 2004, the three Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, celebrated the 15th anniversary of one of the most unique events in their histories. The Baltijos Kelias (Baltic Road) helped to open the door to the restoration of their independence.
This event 15 years ago was a milestone in the struggle of the three states towards the elimination of the legal and political effects of their occupation and annexation by the Soviet Union in 1940.
Of course, people in other countries have all but forgotten the Baltic Road, even though it was widely covered by the press and television at the time. It was then that the Lithuanian word …
On 1 May 2005, Lithuania, together with nine other new member states, celebrated its first year as a member of the EU. Accession had been a policy target of these states for more than a decade, providing stability and consistency to the reforms undertaken after the collapse of communism.
Hopes have been high, and the public has been among the most enthusiastic, voting overwhelmingly in the 2003 referendum to join. What does the situation look like after the first year of membership? Are the benefits being felt in the economy and in society? What are the main concerns?
Optimistic about membership
Opinion polls reveal that the Lithuanians are still quite satisfied with their country’s performance in the …
It”s never a prize too many
In spring this year, Lithuania entered a new phase. It was a new phase in many senses, a time many people had been anxiously waiting for.
Integration into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union represent the achievement of two fundamental foreign policy goals. People believe that membership of these institutions will help Lithuania stabilize and consolidate its still fragile statehood, as well as increasing their well-being.
Yet the country and its people, a majority of whom supported entry into Nato and the EU as serving the national interest, were by no means as ecstatic as one might have expected. Neither, it seems, were its Nato allies and EU partners. …
Lithuanian literature is rising if not from the dead then at least from an existence in the shadows. In recent years we have definitely been able to feel the creative heat from several writers in deep need of expressing their experience of a society in transition.
This has not gone unnoticed in other countries. The most significant signs are the presentation at the main European book fair, in Frankfurt in 2002, and now at the end of September at the biggest Scandinavian book fair, in Göteborg in Sweden.
One of the most notable contributors is Sigitas Parulskis, a poet and essayist on a somewhat rough journey through life, something which I felt at our meeting …
“Today, rural tourism is the leading business in the countryside,” says Regina Sirusienė, president of the Rural Tourism Association. This can be seen from the statistics: over one year the number of households involved in it has tripled.
Three years ago, 24,000 people spent their holidays on a farm. In 2001, it was 67,000. Last year the number increased to 110,000. This means that rural residents have found a new source of income, and that those who live in the cities can afford such holidays.
The people who start this type of business are usually families living in the countryside, and all members of the family are involved. They are versatile people who very often do not have …