President Gitanas Nausėda has started his working visit to Brussels. On Thursday, the President attended the European Council session on rising energy prices and the COVID-19 situation.
Speaking about rising energy prices, the President pointed out that this was not the first time that Lithuania was facing a price hike. He reminded European leaders that a decade ago our country was dependent on a single supplier and was forced to buy gas at the highest price in Europe at that time. But we solved the problem by diversifying energy sources, separating suppliers from infrastructure operators, and investing in renewable energy.
The President said that the current hike in energy prices should trigger the European Union to diversify its energy mix, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and gradually move towards green energy. “The transition to green energy is the way to tackle energy challenges in the long term. The more energy we produce in the European Union, the less dependent we will be on imported energy,” the President said.
Gitanas Nausėda emphasized that Lithuania supported further integration and liberalization of the EU internal energy market, with special focus placed on removing artificial barriers in gas markets. He pointed out that the situation where third-country suppliers could enjoy more favorable conditions against the actual participants of the EU’s internal market by qualifying for single market exemptions was unfair. The President proposed to remedy the situation by building on the EU’s energy security and sustainable economic growth.
Gitanas Nausėda underlined that it was necessary to reduce energy poverty in EU countries. This can be done, he said, by introducing mechanisms to lessen the impact of energy prices. The President welcomed the European Commission’s package of proposals providing for specific short-term measures. He informed European leaders about the decisions already taken in Lithuania to provide compensation to households facing difficulties due to increasing energy prices
During the discussion on the current COVID-19 situation, the President said that vaccination coverage remained the key factor in containing the pandemic. He stressed the need for a concerted EU effort to increase public confidence in vaccination, including booster shots, and to dispel vaccine hesitancy. The EU should continue to coordinate the joint procurement and sharing of vaccines with third countries.
Prior to the EVT session, the President chaired a coordination meeting between the Baltic States, the Nordic countries and Ireland.
Last updated 2021.10.21 22:54Back