Gitanas Nauseda will be inaugurated as the president of Lithuania today. An economist by trade, Mr Nauseda has set his sights on reducing poverty in the country and maintaining course on foreign policy.
The country’s poverty is considered widespread but shallow: its poverty line is $265 per month per capita and 20.6% of the population is at risk of living below the measure. Historically inadequate social programs and protections have remained stagnant, with a lack of opportunities for upward mobility for the employed.
Nauseda—a centrist—continues to voice his support for the continuation of Western sanctions against Russia, though his administration will not use openly harsh rhetoric against Moscow despite disagreeing with the 2014 annexation of Crimea. Nauseda did announce on the campaign trail that his administration would seek closer cooperation with the EU, from which Lithuania has received close to $7.8bn since 2014. Lithuania will also remain a strategic partner of the US as a member of NATO, creating a buffer against Russia’s expansionist ambitions in the area.
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