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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT FACT SHEET: U.S. RELATIONS WITH LITHUANIA


FROM:  U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
Map Credit: U.S. State Department
U.S. Relations With Lithuania
Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Fact Sheet
June 6, 2012
U.S.-LITHUANIA RELATIONS
The U.S. and Lithuania share a history as valued allies and strong partners. The United States established diplomatic relations with Lithuania in 1922, following its declaration of independence during World War I. Lithuania was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940 during World War II. In 1990, Lithuania proclaimed its renewed independence, and international recognition followed. The United States had never recognized the forcible incorporation of Lithuania into the Soviet Union, and it views the present Government of Lithuania as the legal continuation of the interwar republic.

Since Lithuania regained its independence, the United States has worked closely with the country to help it rebuild its democratic institutions and a market economy. The U.S. welcomed Lithuania's accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) in 2004. As a NATO ally and EU member, Lithuania has become a strong, effective partner committed to democratic principles and values. The country is a strong supporter of U.S. objectives in the area of democracy promotion and has helped the people of other young European nations develop and strengthen civil institutions.

U.S. Assistance to Lithuania
The United States provides no significant foreign assistance to Lithuania.

Bilateral Economic Relations
Lithuania is a relatively small but potentially attractive market for U.S. goods and services. Steps undertaken during the country's accession to the EU and NATO helped improve its legal, tax, and customs systems, which aided economic and commercial sector development. The United States and Lithuania have signed an agreement on bilateral trade and intellectual property protection and a bilateral investment treaty. Lithuania participates in the visa waiver program, which allows nationals of participating countries to travel to the United States for certain business or tourism purposes for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.

Lithuania's Membership in International Organizations
Lithuania’s foreign policy is largely informed by what it perceives as an expansionist Russia. Lithuania and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.