Grybauskaite won Presidential seat, will Lithuania’s foreign policy change its direction?
According to the latest official results Ms Dalia Grybauskaite has won the elections for the Lithuania’s presidential post. Some 69.08% voted for the EU Commissioner, the biggest ever support for a presidential candidate. 51.71% of all voters executed their constitutional right. Those are preliminary results announced at 1200. The final announcement should come on Sunday.
Butkevicius got 11.83%, Mazuronis 6.16%, Tomasevski 4.74%, Prunskiene 3.91%, Grauziniene 3.61%, Jezerskas 0.67% .
President Adamkus, the Speaker of the Parliament Valinskas and the PM Kubilius all congratulated the President in waiting. It is still unclear who is going to work in Grybauskaite’s team. A lecture of the Vilnius University Institute of International Affairs and Political Science Mr V. Dumbliauskas stated to the Lietuvos Rytas paper that the members of her team are going to be fresh and young people without any political baggage. He mentioned that four of his former students are invited in the team.
Another lecture from the same university Mr Janeliunas mentioned to the BNS that Grybauskaite’s entry into office would undoubtedly bring changes in terms of foreign policy. Janeliunas told to the BNS that some attention from Eastern European countries like Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova will be shifted to European Union’s (EU) heavyweights, which in his words will be one of the pivotal changes. “She would look to Western European capitals for backing and then assess the feasibility of European integration among other quests. (…) Directions would shift in line with long-term priorities,” he said to the BNS on early Monday morning.
The BNS agency also quoted Director at the Centre for Eastern Geopolitical Studies Kasciunas who maintained a similar opinion. “There are signs that point to Lithuania’s increased attention to deeper EU integration rather than full-fledged EU expansion to the East,” Kasciunas told BNS.
The BNS wrote that the political expert felt that Lithuania’s shift in this particular direction could result in the country adopting a more agreeable stance on Russia in line with the popularity of this trend in Western Europe. It is impossible to provision the benefits or lack thereof implicit in this change, said Kasciunas, noting that more thorough EU integration would undoubtedly be beneficial to the country in terms of energy, however cautioning that integration to EU’s military structures could be more detrimental.
However, these are only predictions and assumptions based on Grybauskaites statements. However, these questions were not really answered during the election campaign. Hence, the predictions above remain only such.