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BCM discusses the most pressing regional issues

Date

2014 12 05

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Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius takes part in the meeting of the Baltic Council of Ministers (BCM) in Tallinn to discuss key regional issues. The Baltic leaders have discussed the security situation in the region, including energy security, as well as the common framework for electronic signature, the implementation of Rail Baltica, European Commission’s proposals for investment plan, future developments in the European Union (EU) and the transatlantic relations.

Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius has noted that all the Baltic Prime Ministers share the opinion as regards the radically changed security situation in the region. “Security situation in the region remains tense, and closer security cooperation among the Baltic countries is key. NATO permanent presence in the region is important as never before. We trust our partners,” said the Head of the Government of Lithuania.

On energy security, Prime Minister of Estonia Taavi Roivas and Prime Minister of Latvia Laimdota Straujuma have welcomed the project of Klaipėda liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, which, according to them, in case of danger, may serve as an alternative source of gas supply to all three countries.

On trilateral relationship, the Baltic Prime Ministers have noted the need to facilitate cooperation for the residents and businesses by creating the format of a cross-border electronic signature and electronic documents. The interlocutors have pointed out the achieve tangible results in this field: Latvian citizens, with their national card with a qualified electronic signature certificate, can now sign electronic documents against the requirements of the Lithuanian authorities, the same goes for the Lithuanians in Latvia.

The Baltic Prime Ministers have also welcomed the Rail Baltica joint venture. The plans are to to submit an application for CEF funding before the end of February 2015.

As regards EC investment plan proposals, the Prime Ministers pointed out the need for economic growth and job creation in the Community. Prime Minister A. Butkevičius has noted that Lithuania is in the final preparation stage for accession to the euro zone from January 2015”. “The euro will provide additional opportunities to further develop and promote business”, he said.

The Lithuanian Head of Government has said that Lithuania will take over the presidency of the BCM next year, and, its main priorities will be, consider in the current geopolitical situation in the Baltic countries and common interests, focused on regional security, Eastern Partnership, Baltic energy and information security.