Today foreign policies of Northern and Eastern Europe, just like in the times of the Vasa dynasty, are inextricably linked and complementary, and the revival of the historical unity of the Baltic Sea region offers Lithuania fresh opportunity to even more effectively promote democratic processes in the neighbouring Eastern European countries, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis says.
On 4 October at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in Vilnius, he participated in the International Conference “Lithuania – Poland – Sweden: European dynastic unions and historical-cultural ties”, which is dedicated to the 450th anniversary of the wedding of John III Vasa and Catherine Jagiellon.
“Just like in the times of the Vasa dynasty, foreign policies of Northern and Eastern Europe are inextricably linked and complementary. After all, the Baltic-Nordic and Central European countries share essential political interests. The revival of the historical unity of the Baltic Sea region offers Lithuania fresh opportunity to even more effectively promote democratic processes and well-being in the neighbouring Eastern European countries. Such is Lithuania’s basic attitude,” Ažubalis stressed.
According to him, important current issues and past developments have interesting commonalities, while decisions and dilemmas have one accord.
“Today we are marking the anniversary of one of such events – the wedding of the Duke of Finland John III Vasa and Catherine Jagiellon, the sister of the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Sigismund Augustus. This was a significant political and diplomatic turning point. The union of the reputable Jagiellonian family and the Vasa dynasty, which ruled Sweden, enabled Lithuania and Poland to focus more on the Baltic Sea region in difficult times of the war,” Ažubalis said.
According to the Minister, people at that time were well aware that there was no possibility to effectively override threats arising from other countries without help of the closest neighbours, common approach and dialogue. The countries in the Nordic-Baltic region understand this also today; therefore they once again unite based on common values and national interests.
“This year we are also coordinating the Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) cooperation agenda. Recently I met with my fellow Foreign Ministers in Vilnius. Of course, we did not attempt to establish any links via a dynastic union, but our joint activities both in the East and in the West have more than once proved our proximity,” Ažubalis said.
The international conference at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in Vilnius marks the union between the Gediminids and the Vasa dynasty. The event focuses on the European dynasties during the late Medieval and early Modern eras, their mutual ties and influence of these dynasties on the political, social and cultural development.