Lithuania’s incumbent President Gitanas Nauseda proclaims his victory in the presidential elections again after 2019. The election campaign against Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte was primarily characterized by security concerns about Russian aggression.

According to Reuters, Gitanas Nauseda celebrated his victory in the presidential election in Lithuania on Sunday. The 60-year-old Nauseda prevailed in the election against incumbent Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte.

After 90 percent of the votes were counted, Nauseda won around three quarters of the votes. That would be the highest approval rating for a president since the country broke away from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Nauseda, who formerly worked as a senior economist for Swedish banking group SEB and is not affiliated with any party, won the first round of elections on May 12 with 44% of the vote.

In a survey conducted between February and March, just over half of Lithuanians said a Russian attack was possible or even very likely. However, Russia has regularly dismissed concerns that it might attack a NATO member state.

Nauseda told his supporters in the capital Vilnius that he would continue to work on the country’s defense capability. “Lithuania’s independence and freedom is like a fragile vessel that we must nurture and care for so as not to break it,” he said.

Both candidates, Nauseda and Simonyte, support increasing defense spending to at least 3% of Lithuania’s gross domestic product, up from the 2.75% planned for this year.

The President of Lithuania has a semi-executive role that includes, among other things, directing the armed forces, chairing the Supreme Defense and National Security Council, and representing the country at EU and NATO summits.

The president, in collaboration with the government, is responsible for setting foreign and security policy, has a veto on laws and a say in the appointment of key officials such as judges, the attorney general, the chief of defense and the head of the central bank.