President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with President Klaus Werner Iohannis of Romania. The Romanian President is on a state visit to Lithuania as the two countries are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations.
The Presidents of Lithuania and Romania discussed bilateral relations, measures to tackle the migration crisis that has hit Europe, as well as the strengthening of the EU’s energy security and the energy union. The meeting placed special emphasis on stepping up defense and preparations for the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw.
“Lithuania and Romania are sincere friends, strong EU partners and NATO allies. Today we share a common goal to strengthen the defense of NATO’s Eastern border. We live in an unpredictable neighborhood and face Russia’s aggressive provocations; therefore, we unders.
In Warsaw, Lithuania and Romania will seek NATO’s enhanced presence along the whole Eastern border of the Alliance and the deployment of NATO’s forward forces in the region – a multinational battalion of allied troops in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and a brigade-sized military equipment unit in the Baltic countries and Poland. NATO’s measures that would prevent a possible military isolation of the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea regions are also of particular importance for the two countries. Lithuania supports Romania’s need to strengthen NATO’s maritime forces in the Black Sea.
Dalia Grybauskaitė also emphasized that U.S. actions in strengthening Europe’s anti-missile defense and establishing the first missile shield base in Romania were a very important step in enhancing transatlantic security.
The Lithuanian and Romanian Presidents exchanged views on how to tackle the refugee crisis that Europe has been going through for a year. The two countries underline that joint measures are needed on an EU scale; however, they must be voluntary and based on agreement rather than on forced quotas or penalties. According to the Lithuanian President, the protection of the external borders of the Community remains an essential factor in order to manage massive migration flows.
Speaking about bilateral relations, it was noted that economic cooperation between Lithuania and Romania was increasing. Trade has doubled over the past five years. More and more Romanians visit Lithuania – tourism has increased by 20 percent over a year. Cooperation has a great potential in the areas of lasers, innovation and research. Scientists from the two countries are implementing 30 joint research projects.
During the visit, the Presidents exchanged the highest state decorations. The Order of Vytautas the Great with the golden chain was presented to the Romanian President. Dalia Grybauskaitė was awarded the Order of the Star of Romania with the chain.
In the presence of the Presidents of the two countries, Lithuania’s and Romania’s foreign affairs ministers signed a protocol on bilateral consultations concerning security, economic and cultural issues of importance to Lithuania and Romania.