Lithuania became a member of the United Nations on 18 September 1991, and is a signatory to a number of its organizations and other international agreements. It is also a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as NATO and its adjunct North Atlantic Coordinating Council. Lithuania gained membership in the World Trade Organization on 31 May 2001, and joined the OECD on 5 July 2018, while also seeking membership in other Western organizations.
Lithuania has established diplomatic relations with 149 countries.
In 2011, Lithuania hosted the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Ministerial Council Meeting. During the second half of 2013, Lithuania assumed the role of the presidency of the European Union.
Lithuania is also active in developing cooperation among northern European countries. It has been a member of the Baltic Council since its establishment in 1993. The Baltic Council, located in Tallinn, is a permanent organisation of international cooperation that operates through the Baltic Assembly and the Baltic Council of Ministers.
Lithuania also cooperates with Nordic and the two other Baltic countries through the NB8 format. A similar format, NB6, unites Nordic and Baltic members of EU. NB6’s focus is to discuss and agree on positions before presenting them to the Council of the European Union and at the meetings of EU foreign affairs ministers.
The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) was established in Copenhagen in 1992 as an informal regional political forum. Its main aim is to promote integration and to close contacts between the region’s countries. The members of CBSS are Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Russia, and the European Commission. Its observer states are Belarus, France, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine.
The Nordic Council of Ministers and Lithuania engage in political cooperation to attain mutual goals and to determine new trends and possibilities for joint cooperation. The Council’s information office aims to disseminate Nordic concepts and to demonstrate and promote Nordic cooperation.
Lithuania, together with the five Nordic countries and the two other Baltic countries, is a member of the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and cooperates in its NORDPLUS programme, which is committed to education.
The Baltic Development Forum (BDF) is an independent nonprofit organization that unites large companies, cities, business associations and institutions in the Baltic Sea region. In 2010 the BDF’s 12th summit was held in Vilnius.
Poland was highly supportive of Lithuanian independence, despite Lithuania’s discriminatory treatment of its Polish minority. The former Solidarity leader and Polish President Lech Wałęsa criticised the government of Lithuania over discrimination against the Polish minority and rejected Lithuania’s Order of Vytautas the Great. Lithuania maintains greatly warm mutual relations with Georgia and strongly supports its European Union and NATO aspirations. During the Russo-Georgian War in 2008, when the Russian troops were occupying the territory of Georgia and approaching towards the Georgian capital Tbilisi, President Valdas Adamkus, together with the Polish and Ukrainian presidents, went to Tbilisi by answering to the Georgians request of the international assistance. Shortly, Lithuanians and the Lithuanian Catholic Church also began collecting financial support for the war victims.
In 2004–2009, Dalia Grybauskaitė served as European Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget within the José Manuel Barroso-led Commission.
In 2013, Lithuania was elected to the United Nations Security Council for a two-year term, becoming the first Baltic country elected to this post. During its membership, Lithuania actively supported Ukraine and often condemned Russia for the military intervention in Ukraine, immediately earning vast Ukrainians esteem. As the War in Donbass progressed, President Dalia Grybauskaitė has compared the Russian President Vladimir Putin to Josef Stalin and to Adolf Hitler, she has also called Russia a “terrorist state”. In 2018 Lithuania, along with Latvia and Estonia were awarded the Peace of Westphalia Prize [de] – for their exceptional model of democratic development and contribution to peace in the continent. In 2019 Lithuania condemned the Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria.