Lithuania and Belarus Seek Closer Cooperation


2009 06 27


On Friday, Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius met his Belarusian counterpart Syarhey Sidorski in Kronon Park hotel, Grodno. Among other officials participating in the meeting were Minister for Transport and Communications Eligijus Masiulis and Belarusian Minister for Economy Nikolai Zaichenko.
Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius congratulated Prime Minister Sidorski on having joined the EU Eastern Partnership programme and pointed out that the Eastern Partnership served as a good opportunity for developing EU-Belarus relations on the basis of shared values. The Prime Minister added that the participation in this initiative would help to address public life issues in Belarus.
The leaders of the neighbouring states discussed a number of issues related to the bilateral economic cooperation, particularly focussing on the ways to increase the sea freight flows from Belarus, transported via Klaipėda port, which is the nearest port for Belarus in terms of distance. Another issue discussed was the development of the Viking railroad link between the Baltic to the Black Sea. Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius briefed his neighbours on the future plans in the area of energy, such as a new nuclear power plant and a common Baltic energy market interconnecting with the Scandinavian energy market. Prime Minister S. Sidorski emphasized that the Belarusian plans to construct a new nuclear power plant near the Lithuanian border would be completely transparent and constantly coordinated with neighbours. While stressing that it is of utmost importance to develop existing and establish new cross-border business relations in the wake of a global economic and financial crisis, both Prime Ministers discussed a possibility to set up a bilateral business council.
The Lithuanian Prime Minister congratulated his Belarusian counterpart on his country being granted the observer status in the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and informed him that Lithuania, taking over the presidency of the Council from Denmark, would consider cooperation with Belarus as one of the priorities of the organization.
The meeting also touched on the facilitation of cross-border travelling procedures for residents of border areas by validating an opportunity to visit the border regions of the neighbouring country with special permits without visas. “We share the common history and our long-standing relationship should not be disrupted by the borders that appear and disappear”, Prime Minister A. Kubilius said. The Border Regime Treaty between the Republic of Lithuania and the Republic of Belarus was initialled in the presence of both Prime Ministers.
Prime Minister A.Kubilius invited Prime Minister S. Sidorski to the millennium celebrations of Lithuania‘s name on 6th July in Vilnius.