Balts Award presented during Kariņš' trip to Lithuania

Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Krišjānis Kariņš, continued a whistlestop tour of the Baltic states October 16 with a working visit to Vilnius, Lithuania, where he met with Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė and his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis.

At his meeting with the Lithuanian Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, Krišjānis Kariņš reaffirmed: “Latvia and Lithuania share common interests; close cooperation and coordination between them as neighbouring countries is currently of particular importance.”

According to a Latvian Foreign Ministry statement: "The development of further cooperation was discussed both in economy and regional infrastructure projects, with Rail Baltica being a priority. Latvia is prepared to expand cooperation with Lithuania in the fields of energy, transport, information and communication technologies, research and innovation.

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"Given the damage caused to the Balticconector gas pipeline and the telecommunications cable, the Ministers discussed safety of critical infrastructure and agreed that the matter should be on the agenda of the European Union (EU) and NATO. The results of the NATO summit in Vilnius and current NATO issues were then reviewed. The Latvian Foreign Minister also welcomed the successful cooperation between Latvia and Lithuania in international organisations."

The security situation at the EU’s external border with Belarus was also discussed and Kariņš thanked Lithuania for assistance it had been providing to Latvia in order to ensure order at the border.

“With more and more hot spots worldwide, we unanimously agreed on the need to maintain attention, increase and accelerate Western military support for Ukraine as it continues to fight for us all against Russia’s aggression. Ukraine’s victory must be a strategic goal for all of us. Otherwise, there will be serious geopolitical consequences in Russia’s neighbourhood, the Baltic Sea region and the international system. The signs are already visible. The only way to maintain stability is through a clear demonstration of the Western leadership,” Landsbergis said.

Also during the visit, a ceremony was held for the presentation of the annual Balts’ Award of the Latvian and Lithuanian Ministries of Foreign Affairs. This year, the award went to Edmundas Trumpa, who has been working as lecturer in the Department of Humanities at the University of Latvia for more than 20 years, as well as being a senior researcher at the Latvian Language Institute and Director at the Centre for Lithuanian Studies of the University of Latvia.

Edmundas Trumpa has made an outstanding contribution to the research of the Baltic languages – he has studied the dialects of Latvian and Lithuanian and is the author of a considerable number of scholarly articles and publications, while also working as a translator.

The Balts’ Award is bestowed each year by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and Lithuania to recognize excellence and achievement in research, fostering and strengthening of the Balts’ heritage was first presented in 2018. Since then, the award has also been received by the linguist Prof. Laimute Balode; a long-standing head of the Latvian Studies Centre at Vytautas Magnus University, Prof. Alvydas Butkus; the diplomat and linguist Alberts Sarkanis; the President of the Baltic Centre at Siauliai University, linguist and lecturer Dr Regina Kvašyte; and the translator Dace Meiere.

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