Versita

LITHUANIA IN U.S. FOREIGN POLICY DURING THE PRESIDENCIES OF B. CLINTON AND B. OBAMA

Gerda Jakštaitė
Keywords: Lithuania, United States, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Russia, foreign policy ,

Abstract

The presidency of Barack Obama is often compared with the presidency of Bill Clinton, because many similarities exist between them such as warm relations with Russia, preference for soft-power instead of hard power, and so on. This article addresses the question of whether Lithuania‘s role in U.S. foreign policy is also similar in the two presidencies, since Lithuania (and the other Baltic states) was always in the U.S. field of interest because of its geopolitical position and U.S. competition with Russia. This article seeks to compare the role of Lithuania in U.S. foreign policy during the presidency of B. Clinton and B. Obama according to several criteria: the presentation of Lithuania in U.S. strategic documents and official rhetoric; the role of Lithuania in U.S. foreign policy practice; and the role of Lithuania in U.S.-Russian relations.
The article concludes that Lithuania‘s presentation in U.S. strategic documents and official rhetoric during the presidency of B. Clinton and B. Obama differs mostly in frequency of mention. In foreign policy practice U.S.-Lithuanian relations were transferred from the format ―Work for you‖ to ―Work with you.‖ However, although in U.S.-Russian relations Lithuania was never the main factor that sharpened these relations— it only received its main security guarantees during the presidency of B. Obama.