Prime Minister: the Baltic States and Poland have reached a breakthrough in many fields


2018 03 09

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Today, (March 9th), the Prime Ministers’ Council of the Baltic Council of Ministers has taken pace in Vilnius, involving also the meeting of the Baltic Prime Ministers with the Polish counterpart. Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis welcomed Latvia's Prime Minister Maris Kučinskis, Estonian Prime Minister Juris Ratas and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
‘I am delighted with the close cooperation between the Baltic States and Poland. This is the third meeting of the Prime Ministers of our countries over less than a year. We are happy to have achieved a breakthrough in many fields’, said Saulius Skvernelis.
The prime Ministers of the Baltic States and Poland met in the National Martynas Mažvydas Library to discuss, among other issues, the cooperation in the joint infrastructure projects.
"LitPol Link is up and running, after a few years the Baltic gas connection with Poland will be completed, by 2023, a modern highway will link Kaunas and Warsaw. Synchronization with continental European networks is a great example of the consistent cooperation between our countries. I have hopes that the final decision on synchronization will be taken in June this year,’ said the Prime Minister.
Saulius Skvernelis pointed out the Rail Baltica project as Lithuania's continued priority, which calls for many efforts to be completed on time (2026). ‘As regards the infrastructure management, we believe that Rail Baltica is a strategic infrastructure and asset that should remain under the control of states. This is necessitated by the Lithuanian legislation and interests of national security’, - said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Ministers also discussed the challenges of combining positions on the European Union, Eastern Neighbourhood and security issues. The Prime Minister of Lithuania pointed out the nuclear security situation in the region, the threat posed by the Astraviets Nuclear Power Plant to the regional and the EU security.
‘In the context of the negotiations on the new multiannual financial framework, it is particularly important for Lithuania to ensure sufficient funding for the decommissioning of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, as well as transport and energy infrastructure projects. We understand that negotiations will not be easy due to Brexit and other new circumstances and needs. It is necessary to focus on the Cohesion Policy in the next funding period, to make decisions on the equalisation of direct agricultural payments with other EU countries. We request increased allocations for the protection of EU's external land border,’ said Saulius Skvernelis at a follow-up press conference.
The Prime Minister emphasized Poland's importance in the rotation of the Baltic Air Police mission and other initiatives, and promised to pursue further active cooperation in creating a common regional air defence architecture.
‘We agreed that we should work together to pursue the consistent implementation of the EU's Eastern Partnership policy. We will continue to support the EU membership prospects for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova. We do not change our position on sanctions against Russia. We discussed initiatives for helping Ukraine - the ‘European Plan for Ukraine’, where the governments of Estonia, Latvia and Poland are very welcome .’ said the Prime Minister of Lithuania.
The Baltic Prime Ministers opened up an exhibition at Martynas Mažvydas Library reflecting book publishing in the Baltic States during the interwar period ‘To Be Forbidden: The Baltic Books 1918-1940’.