There is a bond between Lithuania and India that is difficult to break. It is believed that Lithuanian has roots in Sanskrit. This is one aspect of the relationship that Vice President Venkaiah Naidu will be building on as he embarks on his first ever high level visit to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia from August 17.
“India and Baltic countries have a historical connect and common linguistic roots,’’ said A. Gitesh Sarma, Secretary (West), MEA. And, in an attempt to cement this bond further, the Indian government is on a mission to find them. So, far only 108 words have been found and published.
Beyond just language—which is a strong connect as the three countries have robust Hindi chairs—India hopes to forge newer bonds. “The cutting edge technology and innovation ecosystems of the Baltic countries complement India’s huge market and appetite for these technologies,’’ said Sarma. The visit takes place at a time when India is “increasing political engagement’’ and intensifying trade and commercial agreements.
Naidu, who will be having a business component in each country, will hope to find ties in IT. In Estonia, the focus will be on e-governance and IT. Sarma hoped that there could be ways for the two countries to work together. “There is no specific proposal, but the relationships are harmonious and there is a consensus that friendship with India needs to be taken to new heights,’’ added Sarma.
While India has strong historic connections with the three countries, none of them have an Indian mission at the moment. Despite this, India still has robust relations with the three. “They have been very understanding and cooperative,’’ said Sarma, after Pulwama. The three countries also support India’s permanent candidature at the UNSC.
Naidu is travelling with a large delegation. He will have a detailed bilateral meeting with President Gitanas Nauseda and will meet Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament). In Latvia, he will have a bilateral meeting with President of Latvia, Rglis Levtis, and also meet the prime minister and the acting speaker. He will also lay a wreath at the Freedom Monument and unveil a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in the National Library. He will be in Latvia on August 19 and 20. Finally, in Estonia, Naidu will address the Estonian Head of Mission conference on India’s role in the Indo Pacific as a special privilege.