President Dalia Grybauskaitė

Lithuanian and Estonian unity for security and well-being in the region

2016-10-26

Wednesday, October 26, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with the newly elected Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid. This visit is one of the first foreign trips made by the President of Estonia since she assumed office on October 10.

The Presidents of Lithuania and Estonia discussed key bilateral, regional and EU issues. Special focus was placed on the security of the Baltic states, energy independence and nuclear safety.

“Working togather we have achieved a great deal. We are visible and audible on the international stage. We have overcome energy isolation and we have secured strong NATO guarantees. In a period of 26 years, Lithuania and Estonia have not only caught up with longer-standing democracies, but have even outperformed them in some fields. Today however we are facing new threats and challenges, and once again we need the unity of the Baltic way to counter them,” the President said.

According to the President, increasing geopolitical tension and the growing rattling of arms in Kaliningrad require that all countries in the region join their efforts to improve military readiness, secure NATO’s long-term defense planning, develop the will of people for resistance, and seek regional air defense solutions.

Projects carrying crucial mportance for energy security were also discussed. According to the President, one or the main targets ahead is full integration into the European power system. It is therefore necessary to decide as soon as possible on the direction of the synchronization process and to secure EU financial support for such infrastruture projects.

The two presidents exchanged views on the Astravyets nuclear power station which is constructed by Rosatom in the Baltic neighborhood with disregard to international safety standards. The international community has a duty to demand that all nuclear energy projects are in strict compliance with international requirements. The Baltic states must take a principled stand so that the power generated in unsafe conditions should not distort the Baltic electricity market.

President Dalia Grybauskaitė expressed her delight about successful bilateral cooperation. Estonia was the first to start importing gas from the Klaipėda-based LNG terminal. Last year Estonia imported as much as one-third of the gas it needed from Lithuania. Yet another important task ahead is to complete the region’s natural gas market, including interconnections with Poland (GIPL) and Finland (BalticConnector).

Rapidly growing economic contacts between Lithuania and Estonia offer great potential for cooperation. Estonia is Lithuania’s seventh largest investor, which has created around 8,000 jobs in this country. Last year, bilateral trade grew by 13 percent and amounted to a total of 2 billion euros. Lithuania and Estonia are actively developing IT and innovations. Such technological products as Scype, Pixelmator and Vinted have made Lithuania and Estonia known around the world. Both countries are working together on 25 joint research and development projects under different EU programmes.

Cooperation in international organizations was another important point of discussion. Lithuania highly values Estonia’s knowledge of membership negotiations with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Estonia is interested in the experiences achieved by Lithuania when presiding over the European Uniion and working on the UN Security Council. Dalia Grybauskaitė, who also chairs the Council of Women World Leaders, invited the President of Estonia to join this organization.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2016.10.26 14:51

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