Working visit by President Dalia Grybauskaitė to Estonia, 17 June 2011
President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in Tartu to discuss issues of topical concern for Lithuania and Estonia: energy and cyber security as well as ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the region, the European Union and NATO.
"The successful development of the Baltic States and regional economic growth is possible only by ensuring energy and cyber security; therefore, we have to be adequately prepared to respond to new threats," the President said during the meeting.
She underlined that the energy and cyber security centers established in Lithuania and Estonia had the objective of becoming NATO's strong centers of excellence.
According to President Grybauskaitė, who is on a working visit in Tartu at the invitation of the President of Estonia, both countries are united by the common goal of preventing the use of energy as a political tool. It is therefore necessary to speed up the integration of the Baltic States' electricity market into the Nordic market (NordPool), to diversify energy supplies and to reduce dependence on a single supplier.
The President said that Lithuania supported the construction of a LNG terminal in Estonia or in Latvia, but it had decided to build its own terminal in Klaipėda. She pointed out that several terminals operating in the Baltic countries would increase competition in the gas market, ensure lower consumer prices and strengthen the region's energy independence.
"We must use all possible energy supply alternatives: build electricity interconnections with Sweden, Finland and Poland, increase internal connection capacity, implement the Third European Energy Package, and utilize the newest technologies, including the exploration of shale sources," the President said.
As regards the EU's new financial perspective to be presented in draft form by the end of this month, the Presidents of Lithuania and Estonia agreed to work together in the process of negotiations to ensure European funding for the region's strategically important electricity, gas and transportation projects.
Speaking about cyber security, Dalia Grybauskaitė proposed to follow the recommendations of the former foreign minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, and to form a Nordic-Baltic cyber defense force.
The Presidents of Lithuania and Estonia will work to have a special focus placed on cyber and energy security issues at the NATO summit scheduled for next year in the United States.
Dalia Grybauskaitė also stressed that this topical issue was on top of Lithuania's EU Presidency agenda.
Among the other issues discussed at the meeting was nuclear energy safety and further steps to ensure that the nuclear power plants operating in the EU neighborhood should keep to the highest safety standards.
The two presidents exchanged views about strengthening cooperation between the Nordic and Baltic countries. Next year, Lithuania will be the coordinator of Nordic-Baltic cooperation, or NB8, and will take over the chairmanship of the Baltic States cooperation institutions.
Later in the day, President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves visited the University of Tartu, well known for its long academic and student corporation traditions.
The two presidents offered their congratulations to the graduates of the faculties of law and economics who were presented with diplomas today.
The Presidents of Lithuania and Estonia met with the rectors of the University as well as with its Lithuanian students and lecturers.
Dalia Grybauskaitė pointed out that the University of Tartu, one of the oldest in Europe, stood as a model and symbol of Lithuania-Estonian academic cooperation. The President wished the Lithuanian students studying there to use their potential for building Lithuania and Estonia as well as for consolidating the Baltic unity.
Press Service of the President