A former bank analyst has been sworn in as Lithuania’s new president, taking the helm of the Baltic nation of 3 million.
Gitanas Nauseda, 55, who won the May presidential election, arrived Friday at Lithuania’s Parliament with his family in a pomp-filled ceremony.
Nauseda, who will travel to neighboring Poland for his first foreign trip, said “we must not forget that freedom and independence is not a gift, those must be won and protected.”
During the presidential campaign, Nauseda said he won’t go to Moscow unless Russia withdraws from Crimea, which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014. The move sparked fears that other former Soviet republics, including Lithuania, could be Moscow’s next acquisitions.
He took over from Dalia Grybauskaite, who served for 10 years and called Russia “a terrorist state.”
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- Lithuanian children play in water to cool off, at the Lukiskiu square in Vilnius, Lithuania, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. A heat wave continues in the Lithuania as temperature goes up high at 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)