Prime Minister: relations with Latvia are of strategic importance for Lithuania

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Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis met with Prime Minister of Latvia Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš on his first visit to Lithuania to discuss the bilateral and regional cooperation, energy security and other relevant issues.

Saulius Skvernelis emphasised the strategic importance of the relations with Latvia, while welcoming the current excellent bilateral cooperation. Latvia has been among Lithuania’s main trading partners.

According to the Head of the Government, Lithuania and Latvia are like-minded on many foreign policy issues, such as Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, NATO’s role for the regional security, Eastern Partnership, the future of the European Union and BREXIT. It was noted how important it was to work together in building regional security architecture and implementing NATO decisions.

Close Lithuanian-Latvian bilateral relations have a crucial role in ensuring the regional energy security, and joint energy and transport infrastructure projects. According to the Prime Minister, Rail Baltica and synchronisation of the Baltic electricity grid remain a common priority. The Prime Minister expressed his belief in the benefits of the common Baltic electricity and gas market.

The colleagues also discussed the issue of Ostrovec NPP. Lithuania’s position remains unchanged: Ostrovec NPP cannot be put to operation, Lithuania will not buy electricity from unsafe power plants. Therefore, Lithuania put forward a proposal to Belarus for considering the alternative of converting Ostrovec NPP to gas power plant.

The colleagues agreed that it was important to resume the joint meetings of the Lithuanian and Latvian governments. Such a meeting could be held in Lithuania as early as this year. Hope was expressed for finding a joint decision with Latvia on the ratification of the Maritime Border Treaty. The Prime Minister wished all the best to the Latvian colleague and the newly formed Government.

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