President Gitanas Nausėda took part in a commemorative event to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the Sumner Welles Declaration.
The Welles Declaration, issued on 23July 1940, stated that the United States did not recognize the forced and illegal incorporation of the Baltic States into the Soviet Union. The official non-recognition policy enabled the Lithuanian Embassy in Washington and the Lithuanian Consulates in New York and Chicago to continue their work, making it possible for the name of Lithuania to be heard around the world.
“The spirit of the Declaration, which we are celebrating today, was with Lithuania for many decades like a guardian angel on the long road towards the reestablishment of national statehood and independence, strengthening our resolve to continue freedom fights and giving meaning to the pain of lives sacrificed and the memory of truth,” the President said in his speech to the participants of the commemorative event in Martynas Mažvydas National Library square.
Gitanas Nausėda underlined that, unfortunately, the rules- and principles-based international order was being brutally violated again. It is unbelievable, the President said, that there still exists the audacity to use military aggression and attack the sovereignty and territorial integrity of independent neighbors in twenty-first century Europe. Today Ukraine and Georgia have to pay the anguishing price of lost lives for the path of their own free choice, and fierce battles are fought on the field of historical truth.
“Attempts are made to replace the true history of the Baltic States with historical surrogates created in distorting mirror laboratories. Maybe somebody will start having doubts, maybe somebody will waver or become indifferent? We will not allow it! Because it is our history: glorious and painful, but always enlightening!” the President emphasized.
According to Gitanas Nausėda, the unity and security of today’s Europe directly depends on the strength of the transatlantic bond. “Without the United States’ active engagement, Europe will not be united or secure. Without a strong transatlantic bond, Lithuania will not feel totally confident about its security – and even existence. Therefore, the relationship with the United States of America will always our top strategic priority,” the President said, underlining that as member of the two-percent club, Lithuania needed keep up the pace and take care of own security.
Gitanas Nausėda expressed his strong wish that the memory of this historic day would never fade away and that Lithuania and the United States would be always linked by special bond.