President of the Republic of Lithuania

Unity of the Baltic States – a model example for Europe

2015-11-20

Friday, November 20, Palanga – At the invitation of President Dalia Grybauskaitė, a meeting between the Presidents of the Baltic States was held in Palanga. A traditional, top-level meeting, which was attended by Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis and Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, is held every year in a different Baltic state. Last year, the Presidents of the Baltic countries met in Estonia.

The Presidents of the three Baltic States exchanged views on issues of importance to the whole of Europe and the region – how to overcome the migration crisis and build up regional defense and security. They also discussed the Paris terror attacks and how to ensure the prevention of such attacks.

According to the Lithuanian President, the chaotic refugee crisis that has hit Europe, the increased threat from the Islamic State terrorist organization and the aggressive neighborhood of the Baltic States urge us to further join our forces and have a unified response.

“The unity of the Baltic countries is a model example for Europe, which has been hit by challenges. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have successfully proved that even the most difficult challenges can be dealt with by joining forces and working hand in hand. Today we cannot allow those following the divide and rule principle to take advantage of a difficult situation in Europe,” the President said.

All the three countries contribute to resolving the migration crisis, respect the commitments assumed and are ready to take in the previously agreed number of migrants. However, they share the view that there can be no question about new commitments as long as chaotic migration flows to Europe are not managed. According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, first of all, it is necessary to ensure effective control of EU external borders and proper functioning of registration centers for refugees in Italy and Greece as well as to implement EU-Africa and EU-Turkey joint action plans to reduce migration flows to Europe.

During the meeting, special focus was placed on the security of the Baltic countries. The Presidents of all the three Baltic States will work together to build up deterrence measures and deploy more allied troops and military equipment in the region. Good results have already been achieved in this area. The first part of US military hardware will be deployed in Lithuania as soon as this year.

The Presidents of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia emphasized that, under the pretext of fighting ISIS, Russia sought to escape from political isolation and shift the focus of the West from Ukraine. Therefore, the international community must remain vigilant and not allow that Ukraine be forgotten.

The Presidents of the three Baltic countries also met with the Mission Siberia team from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia who told the Presidents about their mission in Siberia and presented them with T-shirts.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2015.11.20 14:40

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