Dear friends in Lithuania,

After being appointed as the Ambassador of India to Poland and Lithuania, based in Warsaw,  I had the honour of presenting my credentials to HE the President of Lithuania on  April 10, 2015.  I also had the privilege to call on HE The Prime Minister of Lithuania, HE the Foreign Minister of Lithuania and HE the Minister of Culture, during my stay in Vilnius, in addition to having several close interactions with colleagues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I had the opportunity to visit the Vilnius University for very useful interactions with the Rector and the amazing team of India experts at the Oriental Studies Center. We also  launched the Make In India campaign in Lithuania, in partnership with the Confederation of the Industrialists, where I met prominent business leaders.

I came away deeply impressed by this small but vibrant country, which has made great strides in 25 years since its independence in every sphere. What heartened me most was the tremendous interest in India that seems to permeate both official and non-official circles here in Lithuania. The leadership is conscious of India’s role in the world and our cultural affinity is palpable at several levels.  I was pleased to see the closeness between Lithuanian and Sanskrit, which, experts tell me, have more than ten thousand words in common.

Similarly, the Make in India campaign provided Lithuanian business leaders a sense of India’s dramatic economic reforms. I am confident that economic relations between India and Lithuania will show an upturn, both in terms of trade and investment: after the April seminar, we received focused proposals from over half a dozen Lithuanian companies who are seeking partners from India. Four of them are already in touch with prospective partners in India.

I thank the Government of Lithuania for their support for the United Nations resolution declaring June 21 every year as the International Day of Yoga. This happened at the initiative of the Prime Minister of India, HE Narendra Modi; Lithuania will now join 177 countries globally, where IDY will be celebrated. Elaborate plans are being worked out with the active participation of a variety of organisations and I am pleased to say that the City Government of Vilnius have very generously made available for this event a perfect location on the Banks of River Neris in Vilnius, next to the White Bridge. We hope to replicate this event in  other important cities of Lithuania.

I am also delighted to convey that citizens of Lithuania are now  able to get online e-Tourist visas for 30 days effective from 1st May, 2015. Prior to commencing their journey, visitors will apply online and on receiving the confirmation by email, would be able to travel very conveniently. This should bring many more Lithuanian friends to India.

We have also reopened India’s Honorary Consulate to Lithuania from 30th January, 2015, with Wing Commander (Retired) Rajinder Kumar Chaudhary, as the Honorary Consul. Our Honorary Consul is no stranger to Vilnius; a widely respected and loved friend of Lithuania, who has been working for decades to bring our two countries closer together. He handled this assignment earlier too, from 2007 to 2010, and will be an effective additional link between our Embassy in Warsaw and our friends in Lithuania in official, business, media and cultural circles. I would encourage our Lithuanian friends to make good use of the presence of the Honorary Consul in your midst in Lithuania. I would particularly urge resident and visiting Indians to approach the Honorary Consul for his support, which I am sure he will be happy to extend within his means.

We also hope to have a strong virtual presence of India for Lithuania. Our Consulate has launched our website and Facebook page, which will together bring much information of relevance on India in Lithuania.

I look forward to my frequent visits to this beautiful country and wish to assure our friends in Lithuania of active support from me personally, as also from my colleagues at our Embassy in Warsaw and at our Consulate in Lithuania.

With warm wishes.

Ajay Bisaria

Ambassador of India to Poland and Lithuania.

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Letter from Mairam Yoga Ashram - here