Antanas Valionis, Lithuanian Foreign Minister, has sent a letter to his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov in connection with the 10th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Russia. The statement says that October 9 of 1991, when the diplomatic relations were established, was the day of a decisive step on the part of the two independent states. Valionis points out that in the decade that has passed since this historic event, the countries have solved many of their political problems, established a solid foundation for bilateral agreements and ongoing cooperation structures, such as an intergovernmental commission for economic, scientific and technological cooperation and a council for regional relations with the Kaliningrad Region (Russia's Baltic enclave). The letter indicates that the meetings between the presidents of Lithuania and Russia this past spring, as well as the prime ministerial meetings in September gave a significant impetus to bilateral cooperation. According to the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry's press service, in a reply letter, Minister Ivanov also gives a positive assessment to the development of relations between the two countries. He remarks that Russia is concerned about the situaton of Russians and other ethnic minorities in Lithuania. He stresses the importance of cooperation between countries of the Baltic Sea region. According to the letter, Ivanov's visit to Lithuania may take place before this year's end.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969