President Dalia Grybauskaitė attended the meeting of Presidents of the Baltic States in Estonia, 1-2 December 2011
President Dalia Grybauskaitė attended the meeting of Presidents of the Baltic States in Estonia. Discussing the goals and new challenges of the Baltic States the Presidents underlined that energy security and the ending of energy isolation of the region was currently a key priority for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, the Baltic States have been integrated in the European Union politically and economically for seven years already, however their energy system is still dependent on Russia. Therefore, she said, the Baltic States should stand together in their aspiration to achieve the ending of energy isolation just like they did in striving for their independence or membership in the EU and NATO.
"There is only one way to protect the people of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia from monopolistic energy prices and this way is integration into the European energy networks. Power and gas interconnections with Western networks, the liquefied gas terminal - these are immediate steps that will ensure economic independence in the region and a more secure life to our people," the President emphasized.
Dalia Grybauskaitė said that appropriate funding of energy interconnections was among common goals of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in developing the EU financial framework for the period 2014 - 2020. The Presidents also discussed the positions they would keep in negotiating the farmer payments and distribution of structural funds.
The Latvian and Estonian leaders expressed their strong political support for the Visaginas nuclear power plant project. The three Presidents also agreed to have the same position in respect of the nuclear power plants planned in Kaliningrad and Astravets.
Among the topics features at the tripartite meeting was the promotion of cooperation with Nordic countries. President Dalia Grybauskaitė invited the heads of Estonia and Latvia to the Nordic-Baltic Summit that will be held in April next year in Vilnius.
The Presidents stressed that cooperation between the two countries was tight and that common interests were pursued both in negotiating on a new EU financial perspective and in promoting cooperation with Nordic countries.
"Lithuania and Latvia can only defend their interests through acting together and coordinating their actions in negotiations on a new EU financial framework. The people of our countries have always been and will remain connected by fraternal ties, and dealing with new challenges will further promote cooperation," Dalia Grybauskaitė said.
Discussing the prospects for further cooperation the Presidents emphasized that it was important to strengthen economic integration, to achieve the ending of energy isolation, and to ensure regional security.
The Latvian President reiterated his support for the Visaginas nuclear power plant project and other energy projects.
Presidents of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, continuing a traditional meeting of the leaders of the Baltic States, discussed the issues of regional security and cooperation in implementing energy and transport projects. After the meeting, the EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas presented to the Presidents the railway project "RailBaltica" intended to connect the Baltic countries, Helsinki and Warsaw.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė emphasized that the ending of energy and transport isolation in the region was an important goal to attain for enhancing the independence and security of the Baltic States.
"We are members of the European Union, yet the actual integration of the Baltic region into the European Economic Area has not been completed until now. We should stand together and prevent any, internal or external, factors hindering the implementation of significant projects that will serve to ensure the security and well-being in the region," she said.
"RailBaltica", one of the key projects of integration of the Baltic transport, is considered as a trans-European corridor connecting the Baltic countries, Finland and Poland. As for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, such railway would highly facilitate and make shorter the traveling and cargo carriage from the Baltics to Central Europe.
The EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas underlined that "RailBaltica" was a key priority project for the European transport networks. The railway "RailBaltica" is included in the European Commission's communication "A Budget for Europe 2020" as a transport corridor connecting the Baltic Sea and the Adriatic Sea (Austria and Italy) for which the EU funding is stipulated.
The following tripartite meeting of the Presidents will take place next year in Lithuania as our country will chair cooperation among the three Baltic States.
Press Service of the President