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VILNIUS – Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with President Andrzej Duda of Poland on Saturday in Vilnius. On the eve of the meeting, the President of Poland attended February 16 festive events to mark the centennial of the restoration of the state of Lithuania.
The Presidents discussed strengthening bilateral relations, cooperation in the areas of economy, energy and security as well as common interests in NATO and the European Union. At the Presidential Palace, a bilateral agreement was signed. Following its ratification, legal process regarding Lithuania-Poland state border will be finalized.
Dalia Grybauskaitė underscored that Poland was the closest neighbor, very important to Lithuania in the areas of defense, security and economy. Mutual understanding and cooperation in NATO and the EU as well as at the bilateral level is one of the guarantors for prosperity and security.
With NATO summit approaching in June, the Presidents agreed to coordinate a joint position of Lithuania and Poland regarding the Alliance’s reform, necessary for ensuring regional security. Dalia Grybauskaitė accepted the invitation extended by the President of Poland to attend a meeting of leaders of nine Baltic states and the states of Eastern and Central Europe, also referred to as the Bucharest 9 format, to coordinate joint defense priorities in the run-up to NATO summit.
In discussion of the rule of law procedure against Poland initiated by the European Commission, Dalia Grybauskaitė underscored that Lithuania would not support forced or power methods against any member state, including Poland, and would invite both parties to find solutions through dialogue and consensus.
At the meeting, energy cooperation and strategic project implementation was in the focus. Completely established and effectively functioning integrated EU energy market is a geopolitical interest of Lithuania and Poland. A final political agreement on the power grids’ synchronization with the synchronous grid of Continental Europe via Poland is expected to be reached among the three Baltic states, Poland and the European Commission before June this year. This would allow to receive part of the necessary funding from the current multiannual EU budget. The construction of Gas Interconnection Poland–Lithuania, which will finalize the integration of the regional gas market into EU market, will begin this year.
The Presidents also discussed the common position on the Astravyets nuclear power plant and gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 that would increase the dependence on Russia by 80 percent. They are Russia’s geopolitical projects that pose a huge threat to the security of the entire EU. According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, Lithuania and Poland will jointly aim for the power, supplied from non-transparent and unsafe sources not to reach EU market.
Preparation for the upcoming negotiation on the next EU multiannual financial framework was also on the Presidents’ agenda. According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, it has to reflect the interests of Lithuanian and Polish people. It is necessary to ensure that agricultural payments come close to those received by the old EU member states; that appropriate funding, necessary for ensuring a uniform development of the EU member states, is received from structural funds; and that the funding for strategic energy and transport links, including the implementation of the Rail Baltica transport corridor, is continued.
In discussing matters related to national minorities, Dalia Grybauskaitė suggested to resume the work of the bilateral commission on education and underscored that increasing political goodwill would create opportunities from both sides to address the sensitive issues of national minorities both in Lithuania and in Poland.
Lithuania and Poland enjoy mutually beneficial and active business relations. Poland is the third major trade partner of Lithuania and the sixth largest foreign investor. The number of tourists arriving from Poland to Lithuania rank it the fourth. The areas of oil refinery, insurance, trade and innovations open up a huge potential for bilateral cooperation. Lithuania and Poland implement 137 joint science projects under Horizon 2020.
On February 16, in commemoration of the centennial of the restoration of the state of Lithuania, the Presidential Palace in Poland was lit in yellow-green-red of the Lithuanian tricolor.
Office of the President of Lithuania