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Georgian officials participate in Lithuanian event

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, January 14
Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Parliament Chair Davit Usupashvili, Defense Minister Mindia Janelidze and other officials took part in an event dedicated to the Day of Defenders of Lithuania on January 13 at Rike, Tbilisi.

On January 13, 1991, the Soviet government brutally dispersed a peaceful rally for freedom in Lithuania. Georgia faced the same tragedy two years earlier on April 9, 1989.

A 200 meter- long flag was brought from Lithuania and spread in Rike Park.

In his speech the president said that there were many similarities between Georgian and Lithuanian people.

“Those who are gathered here and in Lithuania are celebrating freedom. The freedom claimed many lives both in Georgia and Lithuania. The people who died for the sovereignty of their countries had built the current Georgia and Lithuania. The day fills us with pride and sadness at the same time owing to the loss,” Margvelashvili said.

The president said that Georgia and Lithuania had been fighting for their independence for 20-25 years and the states have done their utmost to free themselves from the Soviet empire that was based on violence.

“On the hard way to independence Georgia and Lithuania stood together, and supported and encouraged each other. I want to thank Lithuania for its constant support for Georgia’s strive to the EU and NATO,” Margvelashvili said, and finalized his speech in the Lithuanian language.

Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili stated that Georgians are not just 5 million people.

“We should realize that we are not only 5 million. On such days we are more. There are two million Lithuanian, two million Estonian, three million Latvian and some others with us. We are many, the people who had fought for independence together,” Usupashvili said.