In Elsinore (Denmark) at the 15th Ministerial Session of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Vygaudas Ušackas presented priorities of Lithuania’s Presidency of this organisation.
Minister V.Ušackas suggested searching for a new basis of the cooperation in the CBSS, which would give a new value to the organisation and would increase its appeal.
In the opinion of the Minister, the principle that incorporates and defines the whole cooperation is the connectivity, the essence of which is to strengthen interconnection among the countries, to clear the barriers for trade, transport and travelling, and to increase people-to-people contacts.
“Building transport links, integrating energy networks, visa liberalisation for all the countries in the region – these are only a few concrete tasks, that need to be achieved in order to make the Baltic Sea region more competitive and united,” said V.Ušackas.
According to the Minister, this can be achieved by aiming at projects which unite rather than discriminate. One of such projects is the Nord Stream gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea. In order to avoid similar misunderstandings in the future, the Minster suggested the CBSS members that the political dialogue of the organisation should not be weakened.
V.Ušackas also stressed that during its Presidency, Lithuania would pay a lot of attention to build innovations networks. This is particularly important for today’s economic situation, because building innovations networks in the sphere of economy would contribute to a well-balanced development of the region and would enhance competitiveness of the region.
Another priority goal is ecology. Head of Lithuania’s diplomacy stressed that clean environment and safe living conditions were vitally important factors for the protection of the Baltic Sea ecosystem and for guaranteeing high quality life of the people in the region.
During the CBSS Ministerial Session a joint declaration was adopted and three new countries - Belarus, Spain and Romania – were accepted to the organisation as Observer States. Minister of Foreign Affairs V.Ušackas welcomed these countries and highlighted that it was another step towards a closer cooperation.
Lithuania will hold the CBSS Presidency from 1 July of this year till 30 June 2010. On 1-2 June 2010, the Baltic Sea States Summit and the Baltic Development Forum Summit will be held in Vilnius.
World press monitoring