On 24 November, Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs Vygaudas Usackas met with the students and teachers of the European Humanities University (EHU) and told them about the decisions that were made during the meeting of the European Union foreign ministers on 16-17 November in Brussels. Further perspectives of the EU-Belarus relations were discussed, the Minister answered questions from the university community.
The Minister noted that Lithuania's interest was an independent, stable Belarus with the functioning free market and making steps towards the consolidation of an open, democratic society. Lithuania is making every effort to ensure that the issuance of Schengen visas to the citizens of Belarus would be facilitated as soon as possible.
The Minister and heads of the University discussed perspectives of cooperation between Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the University.
Due to political reasons, in 2004 the EHU was closed down in Minsk and at the invitation of the Government of Lithuania the University moved to Vilnius in 2005. The University has been granted the status of a Lithuanian University. Currently, over one and a half thousand Belarusians study at the University.
By inviting this Belarusian University to resume its activities in Vilnius, Lithuania has undertaken commitments to support it until there are real possibilities for the University to settle in Belarus. Since 2007, Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has supported the maintenance of the EHU premises and the programme LitPro. This project of teaching the Lithuanian language and culture to the students and teachers of the EHU is implemented by Vilnius University.
In 2008, aiming to ensure a long-term funding of the EHU, the European Commission initiated the establishment of the EHU Trust Fund and invited all the EU member states and international donors to support this initiative. In 2009, Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs allocated 794 thousand Litas (230 thousand euros) to this Fund