11/16/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/17/2021 02:22
"Vilnius has so far been the last capital in the European Union (EU) without an official Slovak representation. The opening of the Honorary Consulate of the Slovak Republic in Vilnius is therefore an important milestone in the Slovak-Lithuanian relations. This diplomatic representation will contribute to greater visibility of Slovakia in Lithuania and further development of mutual friendship and cooperation, as we are close partners in both the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The priority of the consulate, especially in the post-pandemic period, will be to revive tourism and strengthen political, economic, educational, scientific or cultural links between our countries, which share views on a number of current issues and challenges."
This was stated by Martin Klus, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic on Monday, 15 November 2021, in Lithuania, during the ceremonial opening of the Honorary Consulate of the Slovak Republic in Vilnius with a scope for the entire Republic of Lithuania.
An experienced Lithuanian lawyer Ramūnas Petravičius, who works at a renowned law firm, has become the newly appointed honorary consul of the Slovak Republic. The formal ceremony to open the Honorary Consulate in the historic building in the centre of the metropolis was attended by the Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Arnoldas Pranckevičius, Deputy Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament and Chair of the European Affairs Committee, Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps and local institutions.
According to Martin Klus, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, the Honorary Consulate of the Slovak Republic whose task will be to assist the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Riga, Latvia, will significantly broaden the scope of bilateral cooperation between Slovakia and Lithuania and contribute to strengthening mutual relations.
"The number of Slovaks living here in Lithuania has been growing slowly for a few years. I am sure that the post-pandemic period will bring even more tourists from Slovakia also to this region. Therefore, among other things, our honorary consulate will be a beacon of support to every Slovak in need and it will also be an important compass for finding new business and investment opportunities," said Martin Klus.
At the same time, he added that the number of Lithuanian tourists visiting Slovakia before the pandemic was rising and the Slovak mountains, as well as ski and spa resorts, are ready to welcome Lithuanians again once the epidemic situation is more favourable.
Bilateral consultations with Lithuanian partners were also on the agenda of the State Secretary of the Foreign Ministry, Martin Klus. Martin Klus held talks with the Deputy Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament and Chair of the European Affairs Committee, Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė and the Vice-Minister of MFA of Lithuania, Arnoldas Pranckevičius on the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, migration, the security situation in the Baltic Sea Region, the rule of law and human rights, as well as other current European issues.
"For example, we have exchanged experiences from the Conference on the Future of Europe, where citizens of our countries can make a significant contribution to the future direction of the EU. I have presented our national activities to the Lithuanian partners, including the Summer Roadshow across the regions of Slovakia, the National Convention on the EU, or the 'Back to School' project of diplomats leading discussions at schools. I can confirm that many of these activities were a great inspiration for them," stated Martin Klus, State Secretary of Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic
In connection with the strengthening third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, partners exchanged experiences in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus and agreed that vaccination in both countries, according to statistics, is currently the only effective solution to protect our citizens, the economy and health systems from collapse.