Statement by King Willem-Alexander at the Presidential Palace in Vilnius, Lithuania
First of all, I would like to thank President Nausėda for giving me such a warm welcome.
It is an honor and a pleasure to be back in Lithuania. I have fond memories of my wonderful state visit here almost five years ago.
A lot has changed in the world since then. But one thing is certain: the friendship between Lithuania and the Netherlands is stronger than ever.
Lithuania and the Netherlands have a proud tradition of partnership and cooperation. We share fundamental values when it comes to promoting freedom, democracy and human dignity. Together we stand for a sustainable and prosperous world. And we have a valuable history of cultural exchange.
In these difficult times, where we see ourselves confronted with similar challenges such as the terrible war of aggression in Ukraine, the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the renewable energy transition.
The need to stand side by side in unity could not be clearer. The Kingdom of the Netherlands cherishes its excellent relationship with Lithuania. Together, we stand strong.
Today, I visited the Dutch troops in Pabradė. I am both impressed by and proud of their professionalism and determination.
Every day they are working side by side, together with Lithuanians, Germans, Norwegians, Croatians, Belgians, Luxembourgers and Czechs to contribute to our collective security. A perfect illustration of our close friendship and solidarity.
I would very much like to thank the Lithuanian government, armed forces, and people for the hospitality and care they have shown to our troops.
As we are all aware, it’s been almost a year since Russia invaded Ukraine. Our hearts go out to all the Ukrainians who are suffering as a consequence of Russia’s aggression.
I have deep respect for the courage of the Ukrainian people, who are fighting for their existence, for their survival.
They are also defending the fundamental value of freedom in Europe as a whole.
From the earliest stages of the war right up until today: Lithuania has played a significant role in responding to this conflict in the broadest way possible.
A conflict that arose from a threat close to your own borders. Anyone who reflects on your history will understand why this has a major impact on the people in your country.
We admire the determination and leadership shown by your government and by the people of Lithuania.
The same goes for your hospitality, not only to Allied troops but also to Ukrainian refugees. You have truly opened your hearts and homes.
The Netherlands stands with you.
You can count on us.