"Dalia Grybauskaitė stated that, beyond doubt, this meant an appreciation of her committed work for the people of Germany. Responsible leadership and courage of Angela Merkel is of importance to entire Europe in addressing the most pressing economic and security challenges as well as in building the future of the Community," the Lithuanian president's press office said in a press release.

According to Grybauskaitė, "Lithuania highly appreciates Merkel's contribution in taking a historic decision to send German troops that ensure Lithuania's security and lead the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battalion deployed in Lithuania".

In her message of congratulations, the president underlined that "Lithuania and Germany were as close as they had ever been, and this was the result of the German Chancellor’s personal effort as well.

Grybauskai last June awarded Merkel the Grand Cross of the Order of Vytautas the Great, one of Lithuania's highest state awards, for "her responsible European leadership and personal contribution in strengthening political, defense, economic, cultural, and public cooperation between the two states".

The Bundestag on Wednesday elected Merkel for a fourth term as chancellor.