How Vilnius has prepared for the NATO Summit

Nuotr. Sauliaus Žiūros

In just three days, Vilnius will be at the centre of the world’s attention, as it hosts the most important and biggest event in Lithuania’s history – the NATO Summit., where important decisions will be taken on the security of the Alliance as a whole. Preparations for this historic event can already be seen across the city.

With around 100 km of streets planned to be resurfaced this year, more than 22 km of streets in different parts of the city have already been resurfaced in time for the NATO Summit. In comparison, around 30 km of streets were resurfaced throughout the season last year.

“In preparation for the NATO Summit, our main objective was to make the city convenient and beautiful for residents and visitors alike. Today, I can rejoice over the fact that we were able to complete all the works on time. The most important thing is that all the infrastructure that has been put in place will remain in place and serve the citizens for a long time to come. Today we can see that our goal of renewing 100 km of continuous asphalt during the warm season is being implemented with precision and quality, and the works in the city will not stop after the NATO Summit, as we will continue to carry out the biggest improvements in the city’s history,” Valdas Benkunskas, the Mayor of Vilnius, said.

Not only Pylimo, A. Goštauto and Žygimantų Streets that are in the central part of the city, but also streets away from the centre, such as Mokslininkų, Rokantiškių and Sodybų Streets, were asphalted in a few months. The longest sections of newly asphalted roads are in the Ozo Street (more than 2.5 km), Laisvės Avenue and Nemenčinės highway (about 2 km each).

“The asphalt surface and other solutions were selected individually for each street. For example, in the busiest streets, polymer additives were used for the top layer of the asphalt concrete, which makes the top wearing course more resistant to more intense traffic. All repairs are subject to a 3-year warranty period, during which the contractor will be obliged to repair any defects at its own expense, at no extra cost to the City,” says Ilja Karužis, Head of Infrastructure Department.

Nuotr. Sauliaus Žiūros

After the NATO Summit, road workers will return to the streets of the capital and will continue works of street renovation even more intensively. By the end of this season, 35.8 km of category A, B and C streets and 67.1 km of category D streets will be resurfaced.

Flags and lights

Vilnius is proud wo be able to host NATO Summit participants and journalists. On the occasion of this triumphant celebration, guests and residents will see many NATO flags as they move around the city, decorating all of Vilnius’ public transport and lighting poles on busier routes: 3,800 flags were raised on K. Jelskis, Parodų, Miškinių, F. Vaitkaus, Oreivių, Vikingų, Tūkstantmečio, Žirnių, Dariaus ir Girėno, Geležinio vilko, Gynėjų, A. Tumėno, A. Goštauto, Vrublevskio, S. Gucevičiaus, Totorių, Narbuto, T. Vaižganto, V. Kudirkos, Švitrigailos, Dariaus ir Girėno, Kauno Streets, Gediminas and Konstitucijos avenues, Railway Station, Savanorių and Pedagoginio roundabouts. Three large flags of Lithuania, Ukraine and NATO were on the City’s building.

Nuotr. Sauliaus Žiūros

The flags will not be a one-off decoration for the city – they will also be needed next year, as the Seimas has declared 2024 the year of NATO, and Lithuania will celebrate the 20th anniversary of NATO membership on 29 March 2024.

The Vilnius TV Tower, the tallest building in the city with a 50 km radius of visibility, will be illuminated in the colours of the flags of NATO, Lithuania and Ukraine from 7 to 13 July during the dark time of the day.

Support for the war-torn Ukraine

The NATO Summit in Vilnius is an excellent opportunity to show once again our strong support for Ukraine’s aspirations to become a NATO member.

The colours of the Ukrainian flag will be used for a special illumination of the four Vilnius bridges (the White, the King Mindaugas, the Green and the Žvėrynas bridge) over the Neris River.

The fountains of the Opera and Ballet Theatre and the Washington square will also be illuminated in the colours of the Ukrainian flag. The left bank of the Neris River at the Green Bridge bears a Ukrainian touch, with blue and yellow flowers and the slogan: SLAVA UKRAINI! HEROJAM SLAVA!

Nuotr. Sauliaus Žiūros

Symbols of support for the war-torn Ukraine will also be seen on public transport. Residents of Vilnius have been invited to raise 33,000 Ukrainian flags in multi-apartment buildings at various locations in Vilnius on 7-11 July.

The city has also been decorated with new perennial flower beds: compositions of plants that will bloom in the capital for several years were planted in S. Darius and S. Girėnas Square, Rinktinės Street, the roundabout near the former University of Education, and the intersection of Švitrigailos Street and J. Basanavičiaus Street. New flowerbeds were planted at the Cathedral Square, the Town Hall Square, in Maironio and Kauno Streets. In total, more than 1522 square metres of flowerbeds have been planted, with around 15,600 plants in them, which are mainly blue and yellow.

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