Prime Minister: Spain is an important EU and NATO partner for Lithuania


2018 12 18

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Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has met with President of the Spanish Council of State María Teresa Fernández de la Vega and has discussed prospects for further cooperation.

‘Looking at a map, we are divided by thousands of kilometres, yet membership in the European Union and NATO as well as close people-to-people contacts have brought us close as never before. Lithuanians are fond of Spain because of its natural beauty and warmth. A number of Spanish students study in Lithuania, while Spain is a popular place for our students. Bilateral relations and people-to-people ties are excellent, yet they could be even better. I can see the biggest potential in the field of economic cooperation and investment’, said the Prime Minister.       

The Head of Government has thanked Spain for safeguarding security of the Baltic countries in the face of the aggressive Kremlin policy. This year, Spain has patrolled the Baltic airspace for the fifth time already. Lithuania welcomes Spain’s participation in NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence initiative. Prime Minister Skvernelis has invited Spain to join the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence running in Lithuania.    

The Prime Minister and the President of the Spanish Council of State have discussed the future of the European Union, too. It has been stated that Lithuania strongly believes in the EU project, and the main objective of Lithuania is the strong and prosperous European Union. Brexit has posed new challenges to Europe, and it is necessary to respond to them resolutely. At present, the priority item on the EU’s agenda for the Lithuanian people is negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework.    

It was stressed at the meeting that the aggressive policy of Russia poses ever bigger danger to the international security; therefore, according to Skvernelis, we must take every action to ensure transatlantic unity, continue and deepen, if needed, the policy of sanctions, and refuse to recognise the occupation of Crimea.    

The Prime Minister has also noted the unsafe nuclear power plant project developed in the territory of Belarus in Astravyets, where Lithuania expects its partners’ solidarity and support. Belarus must carry out a comprehensive assessment of the construction site, rectify violations of international conventions and implement the stress test recommendations.    

Prime Minister Skvernelis has extended sincere greetings to Spain on the 40th anniversary of its Constitution. 

The official objective of the visit by President of the Spanish Council of State María Teresa Fernández de la Vega is to convey greetings on behalf of Spain on the Centennial of the Restoration of the Statehood of Lithuania.