At a ceremony at Vilnius International Airport on 26 March, Edward Lucas, a journalist at the United Kingdom weekly The Economist, presented the Ministry of Foreign Affairs his passport with the first visa of independent Lithuania, No. 0001.
This document will be on display for a year at Vilnius International Airport. Edward Lucas received the Lithuanian visa in March 1990 when he wanted to enter the former Soviet Union. The first visa was attached by Algirdas Saudargas, the then minister of foreign affairs of Lithuania and Giedrius Čekuolis, protocol officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Since Lithuania is celebrating its 20th anniversary of independence, Lucas decided to give his passport containing the visa to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, which has entrusted Vilnius Airport to keep it and display it. On Friday, during the ceremony at the departure terminal of the Vilnius International Airport, Edward Lucas presented the passport to Šarūnas Adomavičius, the vice minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who subsequently passed it on to the head of the airport, Director General Tomas Vaišvila.
‘Edward Lucas is a special guest of the airport and has been always welcome since the day he came to Vilnius and received the first visa of Lithuania after the reestablishment of independence. He became the first transfer passenger of the airport in independent Lithuania, and there is no doubt that this marks the beginning of the airport activities of an independent country’, Mr. Vaišvila said after the ceremony.
Other visa stamps and documents used by the consular service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania 20 years ago are also being exhibited at the airport. The exhibition is open in the sterile zone of the airport accessed by all passengers departing from Vilnius.