Bilateral meeting of the Presidents of Lithuania and Poland: common challenges require joint efforts

President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with President Andrzej Duda of Poland.

 

Cooperation between Lithuania and Poland in the fields of energy and military security, strategic economic projects, cooperation within the EU and NATO, geopolitical situation, and the situation in Europe after Brexit were discussed in the bilateral meeting.

 

“Lithuania and Poland share the same approach to geopolitical challenges. We live in the same region, and only close cooperation in all areas will ensure security for the Lithuanian and Polish people,” President Dalia Grybauskaitė said.

 

Lithuania and Poland are important economic partners: they are linked by close trade contacts, joint infrastructure projects and investment. Poland is Lithuania’s second largest trading partner and the fifth largest direct foreign investor.

 

Both countries have the same view of Russian policies and unite their efforts in ensuring military security.

 

After the NATO Warsaw Summit, the President said, Lithuania and Poland have a joint responsibility to ensure that allied assistance in the region is used in the most efficient way.

 

During their bilateral meeting, the Presidents discussed possibilities for deploying U.S. forces in the eastern part of Poland so that reinforcements could reach each of the countries more rapidly, if needed. That would bolster the security of the Suwalki corridor and ensure that, in case of military conflict, the Baltic states are not isolated from NATO’s assistance.

 

The Presidents of Lithuania and Poland stressed that an increasingly stronger engagement and presence of the Alliance partners in the region, more international exercises, expanded infrastructure, modernized forces, smooth development of the missile defense system and its use to provide security for all allies was vitally important for both Lithuania and Poland.

 

The Presidents also discussed bilateral energy cooperation. The construction of the Lithuanian and Polish GIPL pipeline, the synchronization of electricity networks and the safety of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Astravyets are in the common interest of Lithuania and Poland. Dalia Grybauskaitė underlined that the gas pipeline was a project of strategic importance for the security of the region and the entire EU. Therefore, it was vital to complete the project as soon as possible. It was also necessary to continue implementing joint projects on the synchronization of electricity grids for connecting to continental Europe.

 

Lithuania and Poland also share the same view of the threats posed by the Astravyets nuclear power plant. According to the President, the ongoing construction of this nuclear power plant in Lithuania’s neighborhood in violation of international agreements and nuclear safety standards is a common concern of Lithuania, Poland and the entire EU. This requires a united stand of all neighboring countries and the international community in demanding nuclear safety.

 

The Presidents of Lithuania and Poland exchanged views on the future of Europe after the Brexit referendum, focusing on how to ensure our citizens’ security and rights in the United Kingdom so that they were protected from violence, discrimination, and incitement of hatred. It was underscored that Lithuania and Poland both had a direct interest to preserve all the four pillars – the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital – during the negotiations with the UK regarding its withdrawal from the EU.

 

After the meeting, the two presidents will attend the forum dedicated to the Adriatic-Baltic-Black Sea Initiative.

 

This is the fourth meeting of the Lithuanian and Polish presidents on the margins of international events: earlier this year, the Presidents of Lithuania and Poland together attended the Munich Security Conference, in spring they met at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C., and recently they met at the Warsaw summit.

 

 

Press Service of the President

 

 

29.08.2016

 

 

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