Lithuania’s new president, a former bank analyst, sworn in

Gitanas Nauseda, Diana Nausediene

Lithuanian President-elect Gitanas Nauseda, flanked by his wife Diana Nausediene, takes the oath of office during his inauguration ceremony in the Lithuanian parliament in Vilnius, Lithuania, Friday, July 12, 2019. Former bank analyst Nauseda has been sworn in as Lithuania’s president taking the lead of the Baltic country of 3 million.(AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

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VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — A former bank analyst has been sworn in as Lithuania’s new president, taking the helm of the Baltic nation of 3 million.

Gitanas Nauseda, 55, who won the May presidential election, arrived Friday at Lithuania’s Parliament with his family in a pomp-filled ceremony.

Nauseda, who will travel to neighboring Poland for his first foreign trip, said “we must not forget that freedom and independence is not a gift, those must be won and protected.”

During the presidential campaign, Nauseda said he won’t go to Moscow unless Russia withdraws from Crimea, which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014. The move sparked fears that other former Soviet republics, including Lithuania, could be Moscow’s next acquisitions.

He took over from Dalia Grybauskaite, who served for 10 years and called Russia “a terrorist state.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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