Lithuania, Latvia Discussed Cooperation
OREANDA-NEWS. June 18, 2012. President Dalia Grybauskaite, who is on a state visit in Latvia, discussed with Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis the economic and financial situation in Europe, the progress of the negotiations on EU's financial perspective, and the countries' cooperation in energy sector. The President also informed the Latvian Prime Minister of Lithuania's preparation for the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2013.
According to the President, fiscal discipline has enabled Lithuania and Latvia to overcome faster the crisis, ensure the financial stability and rapid recovery of economy. The anchoring of fiscal discipline in national legislation will serve to protect even more the open economies of Lithuania and Latvia and will guarantee the confidence of international markets and investors. Latvia has already ratified the European Fiscal Compact. The Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament) will also take a respective decision in the near future.
Common position is very important in defending the interests of the people of Lithuania and Latvia. During negotiations on a new financial framework of the European Union, both countries will seek to achieve a non-discriminatory treatment of the Baltic States in distributing the structural aid, aiming at its fairer allocation to farmers.
The President stressed that for promoting economic growth and competitiveness it was crucial to ensure the energy independence of the countries. Energy projects, aimed to diminish dependence on a single supplier and ensure fair prices of energy recourses, are a key priority for Lithuania and Latvia.
"Close neighborhood has resulted in intertwining of our economies. We are a highly integrated single market. Joint energy projects are important not only for economic and political security and independence but also serve as an impetus to the economies of our countries for many years ahead," the President said.
According to the President, initial steps have already been made to end the Baltic countries' energy isolation, yet we need further consistent joint actions in implementing the 3rd energy package of the European Union and the underlying energy projects: power interconnections with Sweden and Poland, gas pipeline between Lithuania and Poland, Visaginas nuclear power plant, and a liquefied natural gas terminal.
"Visaginas nuclear power plant is a project which will stimulate the economy of the whole region for fifty years. This project can be implemented only by all three Baltic countries together, not individually. Its success will depend on our ability to take decisions, responsibility and integrity," the President underlined.
According to the President, following the Seimas' approval today Lithuania has decided to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Klaipeda.
"Lithuania cannot wait any longer. We have decided to build a liquefied natural gas terminal on our own. We are not going to apply for the EU support. This will be a small terminal, designed for our needs, but Latvia will also be able to use its capacities," the President said.
Lithuania and Latvia have to exploit better the potential of the cargo transit. A working group formed to deal with transportation issues will take care of the development of railway project "Rail Baltica".
According to the President, Lithuania and Latvia are not only closest neighbors but also the most important trade partners. Last year, Latvia held the second position among Lithuania's export partners. Lithuania's direct investments in Latvia in 2011 accounted for LTL 861.56 million. Latvia is also the second country in the list of Lithuania's direct investments abroad.
The meeting also addressed the priorities of Lithuania's Presidency of the EU Council.