The Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania Viktorija Čmilytė-Nilsen was received today at the Magistral Palace by the Sovereign Order of Malta’s Grand Chancellor Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo. The meeting reaffirmed the strong bonds that have united Lithuania and the Order of Malta for over thirty years. A friendship sealed by diplomatic relations established in July 1992 and by the numerous social and humanitarian activities for the disadvantaged run by the Order’s Relief Corps in Lithuania, as well as the numerous visits exchanged between Lithuanian senior representatives and the Order of Malta.
The Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament underlined the important commitment of the Order of Malta “at many levels and in many areas of the country,” recalling the “Maltesers’ Soup” initiative to raise funds for the elderly and disadvantaged. This campaign takes place every year in the run-up to Christmas, and – said the President – will be organized this year for the first time in the Seimas, the Lithuanian National Parliament.
During the meeting, the Order of Malta’s humanitarian commitment in Ukraine was also praised, especially regarding assistance for children and minors.
The Grand Chancellor expressed great satisfaction at the Lithuanian authorities’ ongoing support for the Order of Malta’s work and both parties hoped for even greater cooperation in healthcare and social assistance.
The Order of Malta’s Relief Corps in Lithuania was established in 1991; it currently has over 2,000 volunteers and assists the elderly, disabled and children in need in 44 cities nationwide. The corps also provides support to refugees from Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq and neighbouring Belarus.