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Ukrainie's President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) and Lithuania's President Gitanas Nauseda embrace after addressing the crowd at Lukiskiu Square in Vilnius on July 11, 2023, during a NATO Summit. (Photo: Petras Malukas/AFP via Getty Images)
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Lithuania's incumbent President Gitanas Nauseda declared a landslide victory in the presidential runoff vote on May 26, securing his second term in office.

Official data shows that Nauseda won 74.43% of the votes, putting a safe distance from his challenger Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte with 24.06%. Simonyte conceded defeat before all the votes were counted.

Lithuania has been a staunch ally of Ukraine since the outbreak of the full-scale invasion, and Nauseda pledged that this support would continue into his second term.

Rising tensions with Russia have been an important topic in the election campaign, and both candidates backed increased defense spending to counter the Russian threat.

Nauseda, 59, has been serving in the top role since winning the previous election in 2019 as an independent candidate.

Simonyte, 49, a fiscal conservative with liberal views on social issues, has been serving as prime minister since 2020. She previously lost to Nauseda in the 2019 presidential election.

"Dear @GitanasNauseda, congratulations on your reelection! You have been by our side every day and night throughout these most difficult years," President Volodymyr Zelensky said on X.

"I appreciate all of your genuine support for Ukraine, and I am confident that working together, we will ensure freedom, peace, and security in Ukraine, the Baltic states, and throughout our Europe."

Lithuania remains among the top supporters of Ukraine globally in terms of the share of GDP, with bilateral aid to Ukraine reaching 1.5% of GDP.

Baltics, Poland, other countries agree to create ‘drone wall’
“This is a completely new thing —a drone border from Norway to Poland, the purpose of which would be to protect our border with the help of drones and other technologies,” said Lithuanian Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite.
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