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2015.09.08 13:45

Lithuanian embassy celebrates 90 years in DC

On April 29, 2014 the Lithuanian embassy to the United States celebrated 90 years of continuous Lithuanian diplomatic presence in the historic Washington DC embassy building.

 On April 29, 2014 the Lithuanian embassy to the United States celebrated 90 years of continuous Lithuanian diplomatic presence in the historic Washington DC embassy building.

Over 200 guests gathered at the second oldest embassy in Washington DC and Lithuania’s oldest.

The Lithuanian Minister of the Foreign affairs, Linas Linkevičius, said, in opening the celebration, “Lithuanian-American relations were always exceptional. The US was among the first countries to recognize our independence in 1920 and never recognized occupation, constantly supporting our freedom fight. ”

In his congratulating speech, attendee Senator McCain upheld the Baltic States transition as an international example, “Nothing can be more powerful than people’s will to be free. Baltic people realized that early on and today you serve as an example of transition for everyone. In the wake of crisis in Ukraine, Lithuania like no other nation knows how important international support is. Today, we must support the Ukrainian people’s struggle.”

Senator John McCain was awarded an honorary Lithuanian Diplomatic Star for his, “hard work in strengthening bilateral relations between Lithuania and the United States.”

Other honorary guests included Senator Dick Durbin; Congressman and Lithuanian descendent John Shimkus; Pennsylvania National Guard Major General Wesley E. Craig; and The Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Carlo Maria Viganò.

Ambassador of Lithuania to the United States Žygimantas Pavilionis credited the country’s diplomats, “All Lithuanian diplomats who worked here have significantly contributed and have helped to establish our country’s independence and international recognition. These diplomatic efforts secured Lithuania’s full-fledged membership in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Today we can enjoy our freedom and security guarantees.”

The Lithuanian embassy was established in Washington in 1924 with US recognition of Lithuania’s independence. Lithuanian Minister Kazys Bizauskas purchased the embassy, a 17,000 square foot (1,580 square meter) plot of land with a large house for $90,000. The Washington property is currently worth $1.1 million.