At Delhi Meet, Lithuania Asks India To Open Mission In Vilnius; India Seeks Covaxin Recognition

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By: Ayanangsha Maitra
Updated: 16 March, 2022 8:30 pm IST


NEW DELHI: Lithuania requested India to set up a mission in its capital Vilnius during the 8th round of Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) meeting between the two nations here on Wednesday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, adding that the Indian side urged the Lithuanians to recognise Covaxin.

At present, India runs its diplomatic mission to the Baltic nation remotely from the Embassy of India in Warsaw, Poland.

During the meeting, the Indian side invited Lithuania to join the International Solar Alliance that has 102 signatory countries.

“Both sides discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including high level visits and further strengthening of our partnership in diverse areas such as trade and investment, research & development, digital cooperation, education and agricultural processing,” the MEA said.

It further said, “The two parties identified a wide range of areas including space, biotechnology, laser technology, renewable energy, fintech, LNG infrastructure, startups, health and pharmaceuticals for bilaterally exploring new opportunities.”

The two sides also “brought the reference of Afghanistan, Indo-Pacific, India-EU Partnership and anxieties” over the Ukraine crisis.

Both the countries addressed the requirement for greater mobility, including movement of students as well as practitioners. “The Indian side requested the Lithuanian side to recognise Covaxin and to consider a mutual recognition agreement on Covid-19 vaccination certificates,” the ministry stated.

The Indian side took note of the ‘Start Up Visas’ and ‘Blue Card’ initiatives of the government of Lithuania to further facilitate the movement of businessmen and professionals.

As per the data available on the website of the Indian Embassy in Poland, the strength of the Indian community in Lithuania is around 1,000.

The Indian side was led by Neeta Bhushan, Additional Secretary (Central Europe) at the MEA while the Lithuanian side was led by Audrius Brūzga, Director General of Latin America, Africa, Asia and Pacific Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania at the FOC meeting.

The delegation from the Baltic state called on Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi and MEA Secretary (West) Sanjay Verma.

This year marks 30 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Lithuania.

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