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Lithuanians vote in presidential election overshadowed by Russia

26/5/2024 12:07
        Lithuania holds presidential elections on Sunday, with incumbent Gitanas Nauseda expected to win after a campaign dominated by security concerns in the post-Soviet state.
        
        The Baltic nation of 2.8 million people has been a staunch ally of Ukraine since Russia's 2022 invasion. Like other countries in the region, the NATO and EU member worries it could be Moscow's next target.
        
        Nauseda, 60, a former senior economist with Swedish banking group SEB who is not affiliated with any party, won the first round of the election on May 12 with 44% of the votes, short of the 50% he needed for an outright victory.
        
        He is running against Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte, 49, from the ruling centre-right Homeland Union party that has been trailing in opinion polls. She was the only woman out of eight candidates in the first round and came second with 20%.
        
        Just over half of Lithuanians believe a Russian attack is possible or even very likely, according to a ELTA/Baltijos Tyrimai poll conducted between February and March. Russia has regularly dismissed the idea that it might attack a NATO member.
        



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