The President of Republic of Lithuania
Politics and Foreign Relations
The Republic of Lithuania is led by its first female president Dalia Grybauskaite – also known as the “The Baltic Iron Lady” or “Steel Magnolia” (in the picture above) who was first elected in May, 2009 and re-elected again in May, 2014.
Lithuania is a parliamentary democracy, with a constitution that was adopted in 1992. The Parliament, or Seimas, is unicameral with 141 seats and is the highest legislative body. Seventy-one members are elected directly by popular vote, and seventy by proportional representation from single seat districts, to four-year terms.
The country became a member of the United Nations on 18 September 1991, and is a signatory to a number of its organizations and other international agreements. It is also a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, NATO and its adjunct North Atlantic Coordinating Council. Lithuania gained membership in the World Trade Organization on 31 May 2001.
Lithuania has established diplomatic relations with over 140 countries. In 2011, Lithuania hosted the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council Meeting. In 2013, Lithuania assumed the role of Presidency of the European Union
Key dates in Lithuania’s history.:
|1915||Lithuania occupied by German troops during World War I.|
|1918||Lithuania declares independence.|
|1920||Soviet Russia recognizes Lithuania's independence under Treaty of Moscow.|
|1939||The Soviet Union compels Lithuania to accept Soviet military bases.|
|1940||Soviet army invades. Antanas Smetona flees. Lithuania incorporated into USSR.|
|1941||Thousands of Lithuanians deported to Siberia. Nazis invade USSR and occupy Lithuania|
|1944||Soviet army returns, presaging further deportations and repression of resistance.|
|1989||Parliament approves declaration of Lithuanian sovereignty, stating that Lithuanian laws take precedence over Soviet ones.|
|1991||Following failed coup in Moscow the previous month, USSR recognizes Lithuania's Independence. Lithuania joins OSCE and UN.|
|1992||New constitution introduces presidency. The former Communist Party, renamed Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party, wins more seats than Sajudis in general election. Coalition government formed.|
|1993||Lithuania joins Council of Europe. New national currency, the litas, introduced. Soviet troops complete withdrawal.|
|2004||Lithuania is one of 10 new states to join the EU. Lithuania also joins Nato.|