Lithuanian Foreign Minister Stresses The Importance Of Cooperation Of The Baltic Sea States For Ensuring Energy Security

In Plön, Northern Germany, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis took part in the 17th extraordinary session of the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS), during which the minister stressed the importance of regional cooperation for ensuring energy security.

Energy security situation in the region was one of the topics of the meeting. Special emphasis was given to the supply of energy resources, energy balance, and regional nuclear safety.
“We are glad that this issue tops the agenda of the CBSS discussions. Nuclear accidents know no borders. Therefore, all the regional projects must be implemented responsibly and should comply with the highest international standards of nuclear safety” Ažubalis said.

The minister stressed that energy situation had radically changed in Lithuania after the closure of the Ignalina nuclear power plant. Ažubalis highlighted the importance of cooperation with partner countries in implementation of the Visaginas nuclear power plant project, construction of electricity bridges with Sweden and Poland, a liquefied gas terminal in Klaipėda, integration into the European energy system, and other strategic projects.

The ministers also discussed a proposal of the German Presidency of the CBSS on the implementation of joint projects in the South-Eastern Baltic Sea region.

Ažubalis welcomed the ongoing discussion on cooperation with the Kaliningrad region. This was among the priorities of Lithuania’s Presidency of the CBSS for the period of 2009-2010, complying with the recommendations set out in the Vilnius Declaration “Baltic Sea Region Vision 2020”. The minister particularly stressed Lithuania’s interest in the development of joint projects in the fields of tourism, culture and natural heritage protection on the Curonian Spit.

The extraordinary session of the Foreign Ministers Meeting was opened with a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the CBSS “Between vision and reality: 20 years Council of the Baltic Sea States – trends and prospects”. This was organized in cooperation with the annual regional Baltic Media Forum.

The extraordinary session was attended by foreign ministers of the German Presidency of the CBSS, the Danish EU Presidency, also Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Finland and by representatives from Russia, Sweden, Iceland and the European External Action Service.

At the solemn ceremony, founders of the Council - then-German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher and then-Danish Foreign Minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen - shared their memories about the establishment of the CBSS.