Exhibition about NATO “Mighty when united”

‘The long night of fear, uncertainty and loneliness is over. You’re joining the strong and growing family of NATO. Our Alliance has made a solemn pledge of protection, and anyone who would choose Lithuania as an enemy has also made an enemy of the United States of America.’
From President George W. Bush’s address in Vilnius on 23 November 2002

Two decades have passed since the address of President George W. Bush, made in Vilnius after Lithuania was invited to embark on the negotiations for membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Over these years, Lithuania has taken to great lengths to become a full member of the Alliance and is currently contributing by all means and capabilities to NATO’s key goal of ensuring freedom and security for all.

How did Lithuania’s path to NATO begin? What were the stages and what was the ambition that led the country to ultimately reach the goal? How important is NATO to Lithuania and how does Lithuania, as a small Baltic State, contribute to NATO?

The organizers of the exhibition invite you to a journey that began back in the 1940s. By following the most important events in NATO’s history, you will find out why, on 4 April 1949, twelve North American and European states decided to form a defensive alliance; what were the objectives and the guiding principles of the Alliance; when and under what circumstances new members joined the Organization; and how the Allies contribute to peace and stability worldwide. You will also learn about Lithuania, its steps on the path to NATO, and Lithuania’s joint activities with other allies in enhancing NATO security and providing support to partner countries.

Today, the same level of support is needed in Ukraine, a country suffering from Russia’s armed aggression. In violation of international obligations, Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014, invaded eastern Ukraine, and on 24 February 2022 launched a predatory war to occupy the entire country. NATO allies strongly condemned Russia’s aggression and took steps to help Ukraine fight for its sovereignty and territorial integrity. At the NATO Summit in June 2022, Russia was identified as a direct and most serious threat to the Alliance.

In today’s world, we also face threats including hybrid and cyber-attacks, energy security challenges, and climate change. In order to adapt to the ever-changing international security situation, NATO has revamped its structure and changed its strategies. By opening its doors to new members, the Alliance has established itself as a transatlantic union that ensures collective defence of its members, takes responsibility for peace and stability in the world, as well as provides and coordinates support to the countries in need.

The exhibition is timed ahead of the 19th anniversary of Lithuania’s membership of the Alliance, NATO Summit to be held in Vilnius on 11–12 July 2023, and the forthcoming 20th anniversary of NATO membership in 2024.

The exhibition is open from 29th March at the Bastion of the Vilnius Defence Wall.