Monday, 06 November 2006 11:28
Today a working meeting of the Heads of State of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland took place in Vilnius.
The Presidents of the Baltic States Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Vaira Vike-Freiberga and Valdas Adamkus at first discussed the Baltic cooperation, taking also about the Rail Baltica project that will link Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, Kaunas and Warsaw, the aim of which is to create a connection with the EU railroad network, and which pre-feasibility study’s final report is scheduled to be completed in January 2007.
“In my opinion the Baltic States should follow the example of the Benelux countries, who present a joint, previously coordinated position on many issues,” President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said addressing his colleagues Vaira Vike-Freiberga and Valdas Adamkus.
The three heads of state talked also about the cooperation in energy field where Estonia attaches importance to developing new production capacities, creating links between the Baltic states and other EU states and working out a common approach in energy trade with Russia. President Ilves reminded that the Estlink undersea cable, the first electricity transmission link between the Baltic and Nordic countries, would be opened on December 4.
The three presidents also talked about the planned new Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, the pre-feasibility study for which will be undertaken by Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian energy companies on an equal basis.
When the Polish Head of State Lech Kaczyński joined the meeting of the three Baltic Presidents the discussion on cooperation in energy field was continued, but main attention was paid to the European Neighbourhood Policy, in particular in relation with Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belorus, and to the forthcoming NATO summit, of the Alliance’s enlargement policy, but also the Afghanistan operation.
The four heads of state also touched upon the topics of Via Baltica highway project, and joining the so-called Schengen area, which for the Baltic States and Poland has come to a standstill.
The four presidents gave a joint press conference in Vilnius and attended at the Lithuanian National Library the opening ceremony of the exhibition to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Estonia, Latvia and Poland.
Public Relations Department of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, November 6, 2006