Lithuania says Baltic countries to link power grid to EU as early as 2020December 7, 2017
LTnews catches author Ruta Vanagaite in a lieDecember 8, 2017
VILNIUS – Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko chaired the tenth meeting of the Council of Presidents of Lithuania and Ukraine on Friday in Vilnius. The meeting focused on the implementation of European reforms, the situation in eastern Ukraine and the region’s security, as well as the development of bilateral relations.
The President emphasized that the European Union and Lithuania strongly supported reforms in Ukraine aimed at fighting corruption across all levels. These reforms must be consistent and open and they must guarantee the independence of all institutions from political interference. It is just as important to ensure that all law enforcement bodies do not abuse the use of operative information and do not participate in political activities. This is a common principle of all democracies, which must apply to both Ukraine and Lithuania.
The President underlined the need to ensure the independence of the anti-corruption bureau NABU, establish an anti-corruption court, effectively verify declarations of assets, and restructure the prosecutor general’s office.
According to the President, the road of reforms is long and difficult, but it has to be traversed irrespective of any challenges. A transparent western state is, first of all, to the benefit of Ukrainian people. Delayed fight against corruption, attempts by politicians to influence law enforcement bodies, and holding back anti-corruption investigations can become a very serious obstacle on the path of Ukraine towards the European Union.
The Presidents also discussed cooperation in security and defense. Dalia Grybauskaitė reiterated Lithuania’s support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Lithuania strongly supports the continuation of sanctions against Russia until the Minsk agreements are fully implemented and peace is secured on Ukrainian territory.
Lithuania was among the first countries to start providing military assistance to Ukraine. Our country will hand almost two million euros worth of armaments and ammunition to the Ukrainian armed forces. Lithuania also helps Ukraine to train its soldiers. A long-term national military training mission has been established in Ukraine. Our country provides medical and humanitarian assistance. Since 2014, almost 200 wounded Ukrainian soldiers have been treated at Lithuanian hospitals and medical reabilitation centers.
For objective information to reach the territories occupied by separatists, Lithuania will hand over seven land-based TV transmitters to Ukraine.
The presidential council placed special focus on expanding bilateral relations. Four bilateral agreements were signed: protocol of the 10th meeting of the Council of Presidents of Lithuania and Ukraine, setting the guidelines of cooperation for the next year; agreement on cooperation in the field of migration; memorandum on strategic cooperation in the field of energy; and agreement on amendments and additions to the Agreement on Social Protection of 23 April 2001 between Lithuania and Ukraine.
The memorandum on cooperation in the field of energy opens up new opportunities to enhance energy security and nuclear safety. Lithuania and Ukraine will share their experience in decommissioning nuclear power plants. The two countries will cooperate in the development of electricity and gas markets, renewables, and energy efficiency. The memorandum also provides for the possibility to transport liquified natural gas to Ukraine via the LNG terminal in Klaipėda.
The Office of the President of Lithuania