In Estonia, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Discussed Ways To Strengthen Regional Cooperation

 Azubalis and Ansip


During his working visit to Estonia on 19 March, Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis met with Estonia’s Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, Members of Parliament and Lithuanian businessmen working in Estonia.

During the meeting between Prime Minister A.Ansip and Minister A.Ažubalis, most attention was dedicated to the issues of economy and the cooperation among the Baltic States in the area of energy. Head of Lithuania’s diplomacy spoke in support of Estonia’s goal to introduce Euro in 2011 and stressed that this would create a positive impetus for all countries in the region.

Minister A.Ažubalis drew attention to the intentions of Lithuania’s neighbouring countries to construct nuclear power plants in the Kaliningrad Region of the Russian Federation and in Belarus. In the Minister’s opinion, such projects can only be implemented in compliance with strict nuclear safety and environmental standards that are set out by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Minister expressed an opinion that it was necessary to strengthen the cooperation of environmental protection experts from the region and other EU member states with regard to these projects. Prime Minister A.Ansip shared Lithuania’s concern and highlighted the importance of accelerating the implementation of joint energy projects of the Baltic States - power grids and the new nuclear power plant.

Lithuanian and Estonian Foreign Ministers discussed the Baltic-Nordic cooperation. Ministers A.Ažubalis and U.Paet agreed that the wise men group of the Baltic-Nordic countries had to be established. The wise men group would have to comprehensively consider various aspects of such cooperation and make suggestions. The Ministers also spoke about possibilities for the Baltic States to jointly use the buildings of diplomatic missions abroad in the future. According to Minister A.Ažubalis, this could help all the three states to save up during the economic downturn.

Ministers A.Ažubalis and U.Paet discussed international security issues: preparation for the meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Tallinn this April, the creation of NATO’s Strategic Concept, issues of the deployment of nuclear weapons in Europe, Lithuania’s upcoming Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The participants of the meeting stated that Lithuania and Estonia shared positions toward the European security architecture and NATO’s role. The interlocutors also discussed cooperation of the countries within international organizations. Minister A.Ažubalis presented plans to establish the Centre for Energy Security in Lithuania. Minister U.Paet evaluated this project positively and informed about plans to set up Eastern Partnership Centre in Estonia.

At the Estonian Parliament, Minister A.Ažubalis had conversations with First Vice-President of the Riigikogu (Parliament) Keit Pentus and Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson. During the conversations, a lot of attention was dedicated to the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon, the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the European External Action Service. The interlocutors agreed to maintain a close bilateral dialogue when cooperating and coordinating positions on the above-mentioned issues.

At the Lithuanian Embassy in Estonia, Minister A.Ažubalis also met with Lithuanian businessmen working in this country.
Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Of The Republic Of Lithuania