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Foreign relations of Lithuania

Lithuania became a member of the United Nations on September 18, 1991, and is a signatory to a number of its organizations and other international agreements. It also is a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the North Atlantic Coordinating Council[?], and the Council of Europe. Lithuania gained membership in the World Trade Organization on May 31, 2001, and aspires to NATO membership in the next round of NATO enlargement. Lithuania is among the group of countries aspiring to gain membership in the European Union in 2004. It also seeks membership in the OECD and other Western organizations.

Lithuania maintains foreign diplomatic missions in 94 countries on six continents and consular posts in two countries that are not represented by an embassy. Lithuania's liberal "zero-option" citizenship law has substantially erased tensions with its neighbors. Lithuania's suspension of two strongly ethnic Polish district councils on charges of blocking reform or disloyalty during the August 1991 coup had cooled relations with Poland, but bilateral cooperation markedly increased with the holding of elections in those districts and the signing of a bilateral Friendship Treaty in 1994. Relations with Poland are now among the closest enjoyed by Lithuania. Although a similar bilateral friendship agreement was signed with Belarus in 1995, Lithuania has joined the United States and other European nations in urging the Government of Belarus to adopt democratic and economic reforms.

Disputes - international:
ongoing talks over maritime boundary dispute with Latvia (primary concern is oil exploration rights); 1997 border agreement with Russia not yet ratified.

Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for opiates and other illicit drugs from Southwest Asia, Latin America, and Western Europe to Western Europe and Scandinavia

Civil rights:
No serious problems found by international organizations.

See also : Lithuania



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