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Prime Minister: Baltic co-operation becomes ever more important in the face of pandemic

Date

2020 12 21

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Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė has participated, together with the Latvian and Estonian counterparts, in a remote meeting of the Prime Ministers of the Baltic Council of Ministers (BCM). It has been the first meeting of this cooperation format for the Prime Minister to take part. The counterparts have discussed most pressing issues in the Baltic cooperation, including bringing under control the COVID - 19 pandemic, also issues of energy, transport, etc.

‘One of the most important areas where the relevance of Baltic cooperation has recently become most apparent is the joint efforts to bring under control the COVID-19 pandemic. It is obvious that we must work closely together in the face of common challenges, and I am happy that we will continue to enhance our cooperation’, said the Prime Minister.

The meeting has also been attended by Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy, who has discussed with the Prime Ministers issues of regional and EU relevance in terms of climate-neutral economy and strategic energy projects.

The Prime Ministers have thanked the European Commission for its long-lasting support for key energy projects in the region.

The Prime Minister has noted that one the most important energy projects in the region is the synchronisation with the continental European network and that the Government is determined to do its utmost to have its early completion.

An important item on the agenda has been the unsafe Astravyets nuclear power plant and the joint Baltic and EU efforts to ensure that electricity from Astravyets does not enter the regional and EU market, whether directly or indirectly. 

‘The European Council instructed the European Commission to put forward proposals to prevent electricity produced from unsafe nuclear power plants from entering the EU market. I have asked the European Commission to take immediate action to this effect, and the Commissioner has assured me that it will be done’, said the Prime Minister. The Baltic States also need to step up efforts to take concrete joint measures to effectively prevent Astravyets-generated electricity from entering the Baltic market.

The Prime Minister has also pointed out the strategic importance of the Rail Baltica project both from economic as well as national security point of view.

Lithuania has taken over the presidency of the Baltic Council of Ministers and it believes that one of the most important issues in 2021 will be joint Baltic support to the civil society and the people of Belarus.

The Council of Prime Ministers of the Baltic Council of Ministers has adopted a joint statement reflecting the positions of the Baltic States on all the issues of the tripartite agenda.