The Baltic Development Forum Summit meets every year, bringing representatives from all the nations bordering the sea together for talks ranging from economic development, environmental protection, to security concerns. This year the Forum met in Riga, attended by regional politicians, businesspeople, educators and scientists. The Baltic Sea countries have seen their status grow during these years of global crisis, as they’ve weathered it rather well, and are beginning to believe that they may have an economic model the rest of the world can benefit from. With this in mind, the approximately 600 participants congregated to discuss ‘new realities and new opportunities’ to enhance competitiveness, investment and business development in the region.
Access to the Baltic Sea is important for Kazakhstan, the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev said at a press conference on Monday following a meeting with his Latvian counterpart Andris Berzins in Astana.
"Lithuania is interested in the successful development of transport and energy infrastructure projects connecting the Baltic and Black Sea regions," President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė said at the meeting with Turkish Minister for EU Affairs, Egemen Bağiş.
Integration of the energy market and a more dynamic cooperation of the Baltic countries in foreign and security policies would provide an additional impetus to the development of the Nordic-Baltic region, President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė underlined at the meeting with members of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
Rügen is best known as a popular German tourist destination. But now the Baltic Sea island has taken on a new role as staging point for an energy project that is as ambitious as it is controversial: the Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Next spring the first pipeline segments will likely be dropped to the sea floor in a line that will wind through Russian, Finish, Swedish, Danish and German waters—conspicuously avoiding the Baltic states and Poland.
On 28 May, consultations on the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region were held in Vilnius at the initiative of Lithuania and Sweden. Lithuania was represented by Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry Žygimantas Pavilionis and Sweden by State Secretary for the European Union at the Office of the Prime Minister of Sweden Maria Asenius. Officials from the European Commission, Foreign Ministries of Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Finland and Germany took part in the consultations.
Russian natural gas giant Gazprom has signed deals with companies from four European nations, paving the way for a new natural gas pipeline that sidesteps the Ukraine and worries Brussels.