"Just as we started to feel more confident about life after COVID-19 at the beginning of this year, we witnessed yet another tragic event," the president told Lithuanian lawmakers on Thursday, delivering his State of the National Address. "Russia’s renewed full-scale war against Ukraine signaled the end of peace and relative tranquility for Lithuania and Europe."

Having been taking the path of rapid change since the re-establishment of its independence, Lithuania has not seen "occupying troops" in the country for the past almost three decades, and the country has been an active NATO and EU member, the president underlined.

"These are outstanding achievements. They testify that we have not been idle since regaining freedom. (…) Therefore, today we are able to confront danger with courage, to stand up for our principles and to extend a helping hand to those who need it most," the Lithuanian president said.

In his words, in pursuit of well-being and prosperity, Lithuania needs to act in three main directions. First, to support Ukraine and its people in their fight for freedom, dignity and a better future as "it will make us stronger too".

"Second, we must with all possible means restrain the aggression of Russia, which has returned to the path of autocracy, imperial thinking and territorial expansion, and at the same time maintain the international rules-based world order," the president said. "Third and foremost, it is our duty to work together to ensure that Lithuania remains strong, resilient, advanced, and self-confident in a changing geopolitical environment."

Commitment to restoring Ukraine

Lithuania is "handling the first task in an exemplary way", Nauseda pointed out in his speech. People in Lithuania have opened their homes to Ukrainian refugees, donated humanitarian aid and voiced their support through various actions.

"We were among the first to provide military assistance to Ukraine. We send as many armaments and ammunition as we can afford while keeping Lithuania’s defenses intact. We are also among the leaders in private military contributions," the Lithuanian president said, adding that Lithuania will continue to provide it as Ukraine "a sisterly nation".

The president says it views this as "a personal commitment" for Lithuania to contribute to Ukraine's post-war restoration.

"Lithuania will help Ukrainians to rebuild their country. We are already preparing for this today.

For me, this is a personal commitment. I saw with my own eyes destroyed Ukrainian homes, with only charred walls left. I deeply and painfully grieve for the irreparably ruined human lives," Nauseda said.

In Ukraine, he said, the fate of the whole of Europe is being decided today. Therefore, EU and NATO countries must act together "to curb Russia’s imperial ambitions".

On Thursday, Nauseda delivered his 3rd State of the Nation Address.

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