Vilnius politicians suggest making George W. Bush honorary citizen(1)
Vilnius politicians are mulling making former American President George W. Bush an honorary citizen of the Lithuanian capital.
The move has been initiated by political scientists, media and PR representatives Linas Kojala, Audrius Matonis, Audrius Siaurusevičius, Monika Garbačiauskaitė-Budrienė, Paulius Gritėnas, Mykolas Katkus, Ovidijus Lukošius, Tomas Janeliūnas, Andžej Pukšto, Vytautas Keršanskas. They have all turned to Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius with this idea.
The initiators say this year marks 15 years since the day when the first and only acting American president visited Lithuania and spoke about "a special commitment to Lithuania's security", therefore, it would be meaningful to honor the politician on this anniversary.
Those behind the initiative also paid attention to the fact that the Bush administration recognized Lithuania as an ally of NATO before the Baltic state's formal membership in the Alliance, and also "trough its principled decisions" secured full NATO membership for Lithuania and neighboring countries in 2004.
Active steps in increasing Central Europe's energy independence are also mentioned among the merits of the Bush administration.
Vilnius Council will deliberate the issue on Wednesday.
The 43rd American president, Bush served two terms in 2001-2009 and visited Lithuania in November, 2002.
Now is "the right occasion to evaluate his merits and enshrine them in the city's history," a municipal bill says. And that "will celebrate the special Lithuanian-American relations and become a way to thank for strengthening them".
The move has been coordinated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vilnius authorities say.