Lithuania announced on Wednesday that it will donate over 230,000 additional doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan, on top of the first 20,000 doses delivered to the self-ruled island since June.
A Sept. 22 official statement said the Lithuanian health ministry would allocate 235,900 vaccine doses to Taiwan in the next three weeks, helping the latter to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Global vaccines equity and solidarity is crucial in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte, according to the statement. The support came after a Sept. 16 request for help from Taipei’s mission in neighboring Latvia.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen expressed her gratitude via Twitter and thanked the prime minister for the “continued support.”
Lithuania is the first European Union member state to help Taiwan, which was battling a strong COVID-19 surge in June— Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland followed Lithuania’s lead with additional aid.
— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) September 22, 2021
Previously, Taiwan gave the Baltic state 100,000 medical-grade protective masks in April 2020, when the pandemic was spreading around the world.
Lithuania has boosted relationships with the self-governing island, which China claims as its own.
The Baltic country angered Beijing in March by saying it would open a trade representative office on the island this year. Later in July, it agreed to allow Taiwan to open a representative office in its capital under its own name, rather than “Chinese Taipei.”
Earlier this year, Lithuania donated 200,000 Vaxzevria vaccine doses to Ukraine, Moldova, Sakartvelo, and Armenia, the statement reads.