The foreign policy of Lithuania

Lithuania has continually rejected the so-called West-East Bridge or buffer state model as part of its foreign policy since Soviet troops withdrew from its territory in 1993. Because of this, Lithuania resolutely selected reunification with the Atlantic-Euro community of democratic nations. Lithuania has returned to its rightful place among Western countries that follows shared values of democracy and freedom. Additionally, it reflects the country’s desire to belong to a community that is determined and able to ensure stability, security and prosperity.

Baltic State Policy

After the re-establishment of its independence following the fall of the Soviet Union, the government of Lithuania has pursued a wide range of policy changes in the security field. One focused on cooperation among other Baltic States such as Latvia and Estonia. A second involves increasing the country’s cooperation with Scandinavian countries.

There has also been a change of focus towards Poland and the development of a strategic relationship. Regardless of continually evolving policy orientations, Lithuania has always put a huge emphasis on maintaining good relations with all Baltic countries. This is because the country believes that it will greatly aid Lithuania in achieving functional working relationships with Atlantic and European nations. Since 1994, many politicians in the country have stressed that gaining membership in the European community is a top priority.

The European Union and Lithuania

With the adoption of the constitution in 1992, the country’s pro-Western attitudes have been seen across its political landscape. At the same time, key political parties have agreed that the country’s foreign policy has substantial support from businesses, intellectuals, citizens and the media.

It was also evident that Lithuania’s geopolitical realities have left little room for maneuvering after the Cold War’s end. This is one of the main factors why EU and NATO membership have been important driving forces for comprehensive security. It also gives the country access to potential socio-economic benefits as well.

New Visions

In 2004, Lithuania framed up new objectives for its foreign policy. These can be summed up as Western-norm entrepreneurship and transatlantic activism through its involvement in regional cooperation with Eastern Europe and Baltic nations.

Lithuania was heavily involved in the development of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership policy. Most recently, the country’s prominence in European and regional politics has been steadily increasing. At the same time, the country’s foreign policy placed it at the center of regional cooperation and initiatives. Although this has been lambasted many times as a form of snobbery, it was primarily intended for the country’s domestic political consumption.


In 2008, Lithuania achieved numerous goals. These include joining the Schengen Zone, signing the Lisbon Treaty and securing OSCE chairmanship. However, it has been heavily criticized due to the lack of diversification in the country’s energy imports along with the failure to become a great center for regional cooperation.

In short, Lithuanian foreign policy has been European oriented in recent years. It has also developed within a triangle of Eastern European, Russian and Atlantic-Euro integration. The country’s position has always been described as clumsy in connection to Russia, and this has often been heard in European politics.

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