President Dalia Grybauskaitė

Lithuania and Croatia: strategic partners in implementing energy projects

2016-07-21

Thursday, July 21, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who is on an official visit to Lithuania. Later in the day, after their meeting in the Presidential palace, the two presidents will attend the opening ceremony of the Croatian Embassy in Vilnius.

President Dalia Grybauskaitė underlined that Lithuania and Croatia were linked by strong political and economic ties and both countries held close positions on key EU and NATO issues. The two heads of state discussed further bilateral cooperation, the results of the NATO summit in Warsaw, the situation in Europe after the British vote to leave the EU, and the challenges posed by the migration crisis.

Special focus was placed on the implementation of strategic energy projects. Croatia sees Lithuania, who had an LNG terminal installed in a short span of only three years, as a great example of success in ensuring national energy security and diversified, flexible gas supplies. Following in Lithuania’s steps, Croatia plans to build a similar LNG terminal on the island of Krk. Therefore, Croatian specialists are very much interested in Lithuania’s experience. The company Klaipėdos Nafta – which oversaw the development of the Klaipėda-based LNG terminal – is ready to contribute to this project of strategic importance to the Adriatic Sea region and the whole of the European Union.

During the visit to the Presidential Palace, the Minister of Energy of Lithuania and the Minister of Economy of Croatia signed a memorandum of understanding which highlights strategic partnership between the two countries in the field of energy, bilateral cooperation in implementing LNG infrastructural projects and the exchange of experience in the development of regional electricity markets. Lithuania will share its experience gained in the shutting down of the Ignalina nuclear power plant.

Lithuania and Croatia also work together in training LNG specialists. In June, Klaipėda University and the University of Rijeka signed an agreement on the exchange of students and lecturers. The first visiting lecturers from Croatia will arrive in Lithuania this coming September.

Among the other issues discussed during the meeting were the threats arising in the EU’s and NATO’s neighborhood as well as measures of deterrence. Both presidents welcome NATO’s decision to strengthen its eastern flank and deploy international battalions in the Baltic states and Poland. Croatian troops intend to join the Germany-led battalion in Lithuania.

The presidents of Lithuania and Croatia expressed their strong political support to the Adriatic-Baltic-Black Sea initiative aimed at enhancing regional cooperation, delivering strategic energy and transport projects, and advancing the economies of these regions.

President Dalia Grybauskaitė pointed that business contacts between Lithuania and Croatia had expanded over the past years. Trading has increased by 61 percent since 2014. Lithuanian exporters are very much interested in the Croatian market: the export of Lithuanian-made products to Croatia has increased by 87 percent over the last 18 months. The Lithuanian hard cheese Džiugas is highly popular among local consumers. More and more Lithuanian tourists are discovering Croatian resorts.

More than one third of the crew on the Lithuanian LNG carrier Independence, including its two captains, are Croatians. The President described it as a meaningful example of cooperation between Lithuania and Croatia. Tomorrow, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović will visit the Klaipėda terminal and meet with her countrymen working there.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2016.07.21 14:02

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