Lithuanian president bestows state award upon German chancellor

Angela Merkel, Dalia Grybauskaitė

Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė awarded Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel the Grand Cross of the Order of Vytautas the Great in Brussels on Friday.

One of the highest state awards of Lithuania was bestowed upon the German chancellor for her responsible European leadership and personal contribution in strengthening political, defense, economic, cultural, and public cooperation between the two states, the Lithuanian president's press service said in a press release.

"Responsible and brave stance of the chancellor has greatly contributed to Germany's decision to take the leadership of NATO’s forward presence battalion in Lithuania. In the face of threats, we feel an unwavering support of Germany and know that we can rely on it," reads the communique.

Germany heads the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence battalion stationed in Lithuania this year.

Furthermore, Lithuania is buying substantial amounts of weaponry and military equipment from Germany, including the infantry fighting vehicles Boxer and PZH2000 howitzers.

Germany's investments in Lithuania are over 1.2 billion US dollars. German-capital companies in Lithuania have created more than 17,000 jobs in the Baltic states.

According to the press release, Lithuanian and German scientists implement some 50 joint research projects, almost 60 partnerships between cities have been forged. Lithuania is a favored destination of German tourists as more than 170,000 of them visited Lithuania last year.

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