President of the Republic of Lithuania

The President: the Baltic strength lies in unity

2019-12-17

President Gitanas Nausėda met with Latvian President Egils Levit and Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid in Riga.

“The strength of the Baltic States lies in their unity, and I am convinced that regular meetings of the Presidents are the best platform for discussing strategic guidelines, future visions and challenges. We need to monitor geopolitical processes together and strengthen common stance in shaping EU and NATO policies”, said Gitanas Nausėda.

The President emphasized that while the implementation of joint strategic infrastructure projects was relatively fast, it was important that they were given the highest political priority. “I proposed monitoring regularly the progress of the synchronization of electricity networks and Rail Baltica project at the presidential level and assign the governments with the task to give the highest priority to and speed up their implementation”, the President said after the trilateral meeting.

As to energy security, the President reiterated his position that the Ostrovets NPP was a common EU challenge, with known safety problems and a to-do list requesting immediate solutions. The President stressed the need to consolidate the positions on the Ostravets NPP project, especially without allowing trade in unclean electricity.

The meeting discussed regional security challenges, NATO Summit in London, which confirmed that the Alliance could demonstrate unity and solidarity, even in the most difficult of circumstances. The Presidents stressed the need for even closer defense cooperation and the strengthening of the transatlantic link, which is indispensable and vital for security in Europe.

Assessing today’s security environment, the Baltic Presidents noted that all three countries allocated 2 percent of GDP to defense funding. “NATO is the backbone of our security, but we have to take care of our own security first. We cannot have collective security for free. We must invest in defense and capacity building. For the Baltic states, this is not a whim but a necessity, given the geopolitical environment”, said the Lithuanian President.

The future of Europe, the EU’s multiannual financial perspective, Brexit, the Eastern Partnership, relations with the third countries and multilateral formats of regional cooperation received a lot of attention at the meeting.

According to President Gitanas Nausėda, last week’s European Council was a clear sign that we must all focus our efforts on the best outcome for the next multiannual financial perspective. The EU budget should be fair, well-balanced and in line with the ambitious goals. It is important to maintain a strong and united position to increase funding for cohesion policy, which significantly contributes to the growth of the EU economy and the implementation of green objectives.

After the meeting in Riga Castle, the Presidents visited the city Christmas Market and the temporary radio studio located there.

The President‘s Communication Group

Last updated 2019.12.17 16:16

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