(Bloomberg) -- Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda was elected to a second term on Sunday as voters in the Baltic nation overwhelmingly backed continuity in foreign policy and a hard line on the threat of Russian aggression. 

Nauseda won 74% of the vote in a runoff against his political rival Ingrida Simonyte, Lithuania’s prime minister, according to electoral commission.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has dominated the presidential campaign in the nation of 2.8 million, which borders the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad to the west and Belarus to the east. Nauseda and Simonyte have both voiced support for Ukraine and called on NATO allies to shore up the military alliance’s eastern frontier. 

“Lithuania’s independence, Lithuania’s freedom is a fragile thing that we must cherish and prevent from cracking,” the president told reporters on Sunday. “This is the reason why a lot more needs to be done for collective security.”

More than three decades after the country, along with Latvia and Estonia, reclaimed its independence from the Soviet Union, the European Union member state has hosted the biggest military drills in its history. The exercises involved curfews in the country’s two largest cities this month. 

Nauseda has been a leading force in the EU and North Atlantic Treaty Organization in calling out actions from Moscow. Last week he called an apparent Russian draft plan to adjust its maritime borders a “hybrid attack against the West” meant to test NATO’s unity.

The plan, a draft of which was published in a document from the Russian Defense Ministry, called for unspecified modifications of Russia’s borders with Lithuania and Finland in the Baltic Sea. It was later removed from a government website without explanation. 

In a press conference after being elected to a new five-year term, Nauseda reiterated that Lithuania is prepared to send professional soldiers for training missions to Ukraine should Kyiv request it. Still, such a request hasn’t been made because Ukraine now prioritizes Western support for the delivery of weapons and ammunition, the president said.

“We will continue to support Ukraine without any reservations and with all our power, and will seek the attention of the international community for Ukraine,” Nauseda said. “It won’t be easy as new conflicts emerge in the world.”

Nauseda also clarified his position regarding the Taiwanese trade office that sparked tensions with China. Nauseda said changing the name of the office — a move that may assuage Beijing — in Vilnius “is not a priority” and unlikely to fundamentally alter relations with Beijing. China has shown unwillingness to develop a dialog of equals and “looks at Lithuania as a weaker party,” the president said on a Monday.

Former Economist

Nauseda, 60, entered the campaign as the favorite and, having prevailed in the first round on May 12, picked up more endorsements by candidates who were eliminated.  

Lithuania’s president is responsible for foreign and defense policy and has limited powers over domestic issues, but can veto legislation, appoint judges, central bankers and other officials. The head of state also grants the mandate to lead the government and represents the country at EU and NATO summits. 

Read More: Fear of War With Russia Haunts Lithuania: Year of Elections

Nauseda and Simonyte, 49, had few differences on security and foreign policy. On the domestic front, Nauseda has appealed more to the voters supporting traditional family values, while Simonyte has advocated a more inclusive approach on issues such as LGBTQ rights. 

A former chief economist at SEB Bank in Vilnius, Nauseda was a political outsider until his election as head of state five years ago. He drew support this time from Lithuania’s Social Democrat Party, the Green and Farmers Party as well as the Regions party. 

Nauseda pledged to turn to family policy, such as tax breaks and access to housing. He’ll have to coordinate policies with the next government after Lithuania holds a parliamentary election on Oct. 13. 

(Updates with details on Ukraine, NATO stance in the third paragraph.)

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