PEOPLE’S DIPLOMACY. The Idea of Global Lithuania: One Nation, Although in Different Lands

 

What does Lithuania mean to you? What is your connection? What place does it take in your heart and life?

How long have you been in the position of an Honorary Consul of Lithuania?

Why did you become an Honorary Consul of Lithuania? What does this position mean to you? Who encouraged you to take this public position, which requires so much personal time, efforts and, perhaps, even finances?

What are your tasks and goals for yourself as an Honorary Consul of Lithuania?

What is your opinion of the Global Lithuania programme, initiated and currently implemented by the Government of Lithuania?

Can such a small state as Lithuania have any influence on the development of the tendencies of global politics, economics, science and cultural development? How could it manifest?

In your opinion, what are the relations between the country that you live in and Lithuania? Do you see any opportunities for making them stronger and more business-like?

At EXPO 2017 in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, Lithuania introduces itself as the state shining with the rays of future energy. Where can you see this most?

What would you like to wish Lithuania?

Thank you for your answers.

Throughout the history Lithuania found a peculiar way to expand its borders by experiencing more than one wave of emigration. There are about 1.3 million Lithuanians or people of Lithuanian origin living outside the borders of Lithuania in different parts of the world. This is equivalent to approximately one-half of the people living in the territory of Lithuania today. Lithuania appreciates the potential of its diaspora and aims to focus it on strengthening the state and glorifying its name. 

The Global Lithuania programme, commenced in 2012, was created for the very same reason. The main idea of the programme is that we are one nation and each motivated Lithuanian (or a person linking himself to Lithuania) is important and needed, regardless of where he works or lives – everyone can contribute their knowledge, ideas and experience to the progress of the state and the society.

This time we will focus on Lithuanians and other people, related to Lithuania, who settled and rooted in the lands of Asia. 

Lithuanian Embassy in Kazakhstan, led by Vytautas Naudužas, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, for already three years, develops and cherishes the traditions of people`s diplomacy. According to Mr Naudužas, the public activities of the Lithuanian honorary consuls make a significant impact on the successful work of the Embassy. Currently the team of diplomats representing our nation consists of 9 people from different parts of Kazakhstan, as well as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Every year the number of consuls increases with newly-founded consulates. Last year the Honourary Consulates of the Republic of Lithuania were opened in such important industrial centres of Kazakhstan as Aktobe and Pavlodar, while this year a new Consulate will be opened in Shymkent.

This special profession is so diverse in terms of age and positions, yet united in the desire to promote mutual understanding, confidence and cooperation, sharing experience and serving Lithuania. We got to know the community of Lithuanian Honorary Consuls at one of the meetings, organized by the Lithuanian Embassy. The Honorary Consuls told us what they have already managed to do in order to promote the name of Lithuania and its achievements in cities and regions, where they represent Lithuania.

The Honorary Consuls of Lithuania gladly agreed to answer several questions for the magazine JŪRA MOPE SEA.

Kazakhstan and Lithuania Connected by Old Historical and Close Modern Ties

Abay Baygenzhin,

Board Chairman of AO National scientific medical centre

I’m related to Lithuania not only by professional ties, but also friendship with the majority of my colleagues. I could say that we – doctors – formed great relations since the very beginning. Kazakhstan receives regular visits from, for example, cardio surgeons and oncologists, who hold master-classes at our clinics and perform unique surgeries. They teach young doctors, making suggestions and constantly offering help, while Kazakh doctors often go for internships to Lithuania, mostly to Kaunas university clinics, the work place of our friend and teacher, the famous cardio surgeon professor Rimantas Benetis. He was actively involved into the development of cardio surgery in Kazakhstan. One of his pupils – Adildzhan Albazarov – currently leads the cardio surgery department at our clinics and performs the most complicated of surgeries himself.

I became the Honorary Consul of Lithuania in May 2013, so my “diplomatic” experience is almost four years. However, Kazakhstan and Lithuania were related since the times of the Great Silk Road! Archives in many countries feature documents confirming cultural and scientific relations as well. There is evidence that more than 400 years ago the inhabitants of the European part of the continent could reach Central Asia only via Kazakhstan and vice versa. Of course, the greatest development of our relations took place in the 20th century. If you remember, we were related by common history. For example, the notorious Karlag with about 89 thousand Lithuanians imprisoned there in the times of repressions. Now their children and grandchildren live in Kazakhstan and consider this country their second home. 

I would like to contribute to the friendship of our countries. Yet we are connected not only by friendship. Lithuania and Kazakhstan share close economic ties. Two years ago the capital of Kazakhstan hosted a bilateral business forum, led by the chief executives of our governments. It gathered more than two hundred businessmen ready to invest into different projects both in Kazakhstan and Lithuania. With no doubt, the most promising fields include transport, logistics and agriculture, with cooperation in the fields of science and culture almost as active. L. N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Saken Seifullin Kazakh Agrotechnical University, Karaganda State Technical University and Karaganda State Industrial University keep in contact with Kaunas University of Technology and Vilnius Gediminas Technical University. Kazakh students also study at Vilnius University, Lithuanian Maritime Academy and LCC International University in Klaipėda, as well as Kaunas NATO Sergeant School. Even my grandson graduated from a university in Lithuania. The cooperation in the field of health care continues under the memorandum of cooperation, signed between the Kazakh National Medical University of S. D. Asfendiarov and the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (Kaunas). In November 2014 four Lithuanian institutions of higher education were included into Bolashak international training programme.

The Global Lithuania project aims to unite Lithuanians all over the world. Considering the effort of the country’s authorities, I believe that the goal will be reached in the nearest future and the Lithuanians living abroad will get involved into the life of the state. The project’s idea itself is based on the understanding that the Lithuanian nation is a single living unit, united by identity and historical memory, and that its members preserve their national identity, political, economic and cultural relations with Lithuania, thus participating in the state’s development, no matter, where they live. This can earn nothing else, but respect.

In the 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries the relationship between Kazakhstan and Lithuania grew stable, aiming at the development of bilateral cooperation. As I have already mentioned, Astana is greatly interested in the potential of transit-transport in Lithuania and also the advancement of our country’s interests at the European structures – there was time, when Lithuania supported Kazakhstan in joining the WTO. Vilnius, in turn, considers Kazakhstan as a major regional partner, including the matters of safety, trade and economics. I believe that these relations are bound to grow stronger in time. The more common projects, the more common interests we’ll have. 

Of course, we are happy that Lithuania agreed to take part at the exhibition as it really has great potential. Even during the phase of preparations Lithuania can actively participate at the construction of the exhibition’s infrastructure, including helping with the materials – timber, plywood and other products of woodworking industry. Also, Kazakh people are ready to learn from Lithuania in the field of contaminated water and soil treatment. Finally, as it was said earlier, in this segment Kazakhstan is quite satisfied with the ratio of price and quality, offered by Lithuanian partners.

I wish Lithuanian people further growth and prosperity!

 

Lithuania Is an Inseparable Part of My Life

Vitalijus Tvarijonas,

Head of Lituanica ethno-association in Karaganda, Honorary Consul of Lithuania in Karaganda region

Lithuania is one of the two of my homelands. I am a LITHUANIAN and this is related not only to the fact that I was born Lithuanian, that I have genetic ties and that my ancestors were Lithuanians – Lithuania is an inseparable part of my life.

I officially fulfil my duties as an Honorary Consul since 2011.

I am the head of the Lituanica Lithuanian community in Karaganda region since its foundation in 2003. In Karaganda region and in the entire Kazakhstan we all are members of a single and friendly family – the Assembly of Kazakhstanian people. I was inspired by the sense of pride for the country where my ancestors lived and still live, as well as the fact that that I can continue the traditions and habits of my people here in Kazakhstan, while the position of an Honorary Consul enables me to develop economic and cultural relations of our countries.

My goals as an Honorary Consul include strengthening economic relations by convergence of business structures, business development in Kazakhstan and Lithuania, as well as exchange of knowledge in the field of education, transport and logistics.

I highly appreciate the initiative of the Government of Lithuania – the Global Lithuania programme – highlighting the identity of Lithuanians living outside of Lithuania, the sense of Lithuanian patriotism and educating the young generation of the community with the sense of pride for the country, where they have originated from.

Although small in terms of territory, Lithuania is the home of the great nation of Lithuanian people, who are rather educated and love their country. While the Lithuanians living outside of Lithuania are settled in different parts of the world, including great politicians, economists and large businessmen – all connected with Lithuania. We must get closer to each other, help each other and in this way help our Lithuania grow and get stronger in the world.

Regardless of distance and transit states (Russia and Belarus), the potential of economic and cultural relations is growing. The export of both countries’ production has recently increased, while Lithuanian Railways and transport-logistics companies have opened their representative offices. Talking of strengthening cultural relations – the Kazakh people gladly go to Lithuania to study, while our tourism business shows a significant progress as well. Lithuanians love visiting Kazakhstan and its new capital – Astana. In Kazakhstan there are numerous memorials for the victims of political repressions and the suffering of the Lithuanian and Kazakh nations is our common heritage. Kazakhs are a friendly and multi-national nation. It is open for communication and development of economic and cultural relations.

Lithuania participates at such a large international event in Kazakhstan for the first time. It introduces energy of the future. This involves global projects that will develop the economy of our countries in the field of nanotechnologies. There will be common projects and I have no doubts that these contracts, that will contribute to the development of both countries, will be signed during EXPO.

I wish my Lithuania prosperity, peaceful sky and economic growth so that the Lithuanians living outside Lithuania would not forget their identity and return to the land of their ancestors.  

 

What Lithuania Means to Me

Gainur Toktarov,

Executive Director of the Republican Chamber of Dairy Cattle Breeding, Deputy Director of Katon-Karagai, Honorary Consul of Lithuania in the region of East Kazakhstan

For me Lithuania is an outpost of Western Europe. The capital Vilnius with its peculiar architecture, as well as atmosphere of benevolence and tranquillity is a magnet for tourists of all ages. I would like to explore the old cities, stay at the Baltic Sea and go to see Žalgiris club at a basketball match, although I am not a great basketball fan. Staying in Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda is simply pleasant.

I have not yet started my duties as the Honorary Consul. But I hope this time is not far off.

In addition to the responsibility, imposed by the status of a consul, it is first of all a new interesting field of activities, new relations and opportunities. A search for new ways of development for me as an individual in particular, and for the native region on the whole. It is necessary to establish close relations with European countries via Lithuania and Lithuanian people, introduce Lithuanians to the beautiful places and industrial opportunities of our region, as well as create a piece of Lithuania in Eastern Kazakhstan.

My goals as an Honorary Consul revolve around the expansion of business relations and close cooperation between East Kazakhstan and the Republic of Lithuania.

My tasks involve the development of tourism relations, exchange of knowledge and introduction of new technologies into tourism industry, attracting tourists from Western Europe to East Kazakhstan, as well as panto-therapy technologies in Europe via Lithuanian resorts and sanatoriums.

The Global Lithuania programme is designed to attract Lithuanians living in other countries to Lithuania’s development and life. It is a good idea which is already under implementation. Such programs are crucial to Kazakhstan. It will inspire Kazakh people to support their homeland and find connection with the land of their ancestors, where they were brought up and give a new stimulus to develop their own state. The implementation of this programme in Kazakhstan will bring together Lithuanian and Kazakh nations.

The policy of any state is aimed at integrating its influence into the global political environment. Lithuania, like Kazakhstan, is no exception. But our country needs an access to the Baltic Sea and to the Atlantic Ocean, not to mention the friendly relations, as well as political and economic ties with the Republic of Lithuania.

Lithuania is a large European logistics centre. As you know, since the ancient times all crossroads made impact on political events all over the world and dictated the conditions of trade relations. While the accessibility of this road attracts people looking for solutions to their transportation problems and thus raises Lithuania to the level of the big players in foreign trade relations.

During the years of independence Lithuania and Kazakhstan developed friendly relations, continuously strengthened not only historically, but also by economic ties and business links between Lithuanian and Kazakh companies. Lithuanian and Kazakh people are actively working together in building industry, logistics and transport, as well as cooperate and exchange knowledge in the areas of medicine and education.

The Government of Kazakhstan is implementing programmes, focusing on developing tourism, agriculture and introducing alternative energy sources. I think that those areas have great potential for close cooperation with Eastern Kazakhstan, as well as organising domestic and outbound tourism. Attracting investments to tourism, agriculture, industry and environmental protection is also important.

At EXPO 2017 in Astana Lithuania is planning to introduce its laser technologies. It will be a grand and enchanting show, stimulating further development of numerous companies. Energy saving technologies introduced at the exhibition will be quite interesting not only for the big companies, but also for the simple visitors thinking of building or buying their home.

I wish Lithuania a peaceful sky, economic well-being and success in expanding business boundaries, as well as a kind sea and open gates to Europe for Kazakhstan.

 

The magazine SEA has been published since 1935
International business magazine JŪRA MOPE SEA has been published since 1999
The first magazine in Eurasia in the four languages: English, Chinese, Russian and Lithuanian


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Publisher:

Ltd. Juru informacijos centras


The magazine JŪRA has been published since 1935.
International business magazine JŪRA MOPE SEA has been
published since 1999.

ISSN 1392-7825

2017 © www.jura.lt