During the 21st Baltic Council at the Seimas (Parliament) on 20 November, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius underlined the need to further strengthen security in the region and stressed the importance of ensuring energy independence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Linas Linkevičius
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

As the Chairman of the Cooperation Council of the Baltic Council of Ministers, Linkevičius reviewed trilateral cooperation among the Baltic States in implementing the following priorities for Lithuania's Presidency of the Baltic Council of Ministers in 2015: to strengthen regional security, to focus on the Eastern Partnership, to cooperate in the fields of energy and transport, and to ensure information security.

Working with NATO allies to ensure security in the Baltic region was among the priorities of the Presidency. "State security is not a given, so we must pay much more attention to ensuring security than we have done before," said Linkevicius.

Lithuania's foreign minister also said that 2015 was a breakthrough year in terms of the Baltic States' striving for energy independence - the liquefied natural gas terminal had started operating in Klaipėda, power bridges would soon link the Baltic States with Poland and Sweden

"The role of the Baltic Assembly and the Baltic Council of Ministers is very important, because these institutions that support interparliamentary and intergovernmental cooperation, considering the interests of each country and adjusting them, set common tasks for Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, and discuss ways to resolve them," said Linkevicius.

Linkevičius and President of the Baltic Assembly Giedrė Purvaneckienė signed a joint statement of the 21st Baltic Council, which reflects the progress achieved in 2015 in cooperation in the fields of security and defence, transport and energy, health protection, education, science and other areas, as well as identifies priorities for cooperation in 2016.

A tripartite meeting of Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Marina Kaljurand and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Latvia Edgars Rinkevics took place on the same day. The foreign ministers discussed the situation in Ukraine, the implementation of the EU's Eastern Partnership policy, topical security policy issues and cooperation in implementing joint energy and transport projects.

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