Thursday, April 10, Stockholm - President Dalia Grybauskaitė, who is in Stockholm for an official visit, discussed topical bilateral and regional issues with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt of Sweden. During the meeting, the Lithuania-Sweden maritime boundary agreement was solemnly signed.
According to the President, this agreement is an important symbolic step for Lithuania as it finalizes the international legitimation of Lithuania's all boundaries, the process which has taken even 24 years since re-establishment of independence of our country.
The agreement defines a special economic zone and the continental shelf in the Baltic Sea, outlining clear boundaries of the marine waters and the seabed. In this territory, Lithuania will be able to carry out economic and fishing activities, explore and extract mineral resources. The Lithuanian-Swedish power link NordBalt will cross this border. This maritime boundary agreement between Lithuania and Sweden also means that the NordBalt power link will go across a safe territory, the President noted.
Special focus at the meeting was on regional security and defence issues. The President and the Prime Minister discussed the situation in Ukraine, militarization of Kaliningrad, and unacceptable demonstration of military power by Russia near the borders of the Baltic and Scandinavian countries.
"Russia's actions in Ukraine, military exercises in the Baltic Sea and at our borders rehearsing attack scenarios and an information war against us pose a threat to the region's security. Therefore, it is crucial to enhance the NATO's role in the region, carry out joint military exercises with the allied partners Sweden and Finland in order to strengthen the region's defence preparedness, improve capabilities to coordinate actions with the Allies and perform joint operations," the President said.
Although Sweden is not a member of NATO, it is already participating in the Alliance's military exercises and international operations, has joined the NATO Response Force, and is conducting together with Finland an air policing mission in Iceland.
The Lithuanian head of state and the Swedish Prime Minister also reviewed the Nordic-Baltic cooperation, economic ties and energy matters. According to the President, Sweden is an important economic partner of Lithuania which helps secure our energy independence through implementation of the NordBalt power link project. The latter will be the second energy project of strategic importance in Lithuania after launching the Klaipėda liquefied natural gas terminal at the end of this year.
The 450 km long power link with Sweden and the LitPol Link interconnection with Poland will complete the regional power market of the Nordic countries, Nord Pool Spot, while Lithuania will be secured electricity supplies at a lower price.
At the present moment, almost 70 percent of Lithuania's electricity imports are from Russia, which makes our country vulnerable in economic and energy terms.
During the meeting, support was declared to the EU's Eastern Partnership policy and to the countries' European integration aspirations. The heads of state and government of Lithuania and Sweden strongly condemned the unlawful annexation of Crimea and underlined the need to sign the remaining provisions of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement soon. The signature of the EU Association Agreements with Georgia and Moldova is also foreseen in the near future.
Copyright - R. Dačkus