During his official visit to Azerbaijan, Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Vygaudas Ušackas gave a lecture called “Azerbaijan and Lithuania: Eastern Partnership from the Caspian to the Baltic” at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy in Baku.
In the speech, head of the Lithuanian diplomacy welcomed close political, economic and cultural relations between the two nations, which, according to him, had even grown stronger during the recent years. In the words of the Minister, Lithuania and Azerbaijan have really a lot in common as both countries are situated at geographical, historical and political crossroads: our country links Europe’s West, North and East, while Azerbaijan is at the meeting point of Europe’s East and Asia’s West. The Minister also heeded attention to the fact that Baku was The Capital of Islamic Culture for this year and Vilnius – European Capital of Culture 2009.
Speaking about the EU Eastern Partnership Initiative, V.Ušackas stressed that it established a broad basis for bilateral and multilateral cooperation, which provided an important instrument to draw our Eastern neighbours, including Azerbaijan, closer to Europe.
“The shared values of democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights will be at the core of the Initiative, as well as the principles of market economy, good governance and sustainable development. The Initiative is expected to respond to the specific needs and expectations of our Eastern neighbours, and will be developed individually with each one of them,” said V.Ušackas.
Head of the Lithuanian diplomacy named energy as one of the most important areas linking both countries and the regions. According to him, Azerbaijan can guarantee diversification of provision of energy sources to Europe and use its whole potential in this area. The Minister stated that it was particularly important to create energy transportation infrastructure, linking the Caspian region to Europe. According to the Minister, the EU Eastern Partnership initiative will also contribute to the development of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EU in the field of energy.
“Lithuania has consistently promoted the strengthening of the EU external energy policy towards the countries of the Caspian and Black Sea regions. We are pleased that the Nabucco project has been included among the four priority energy infrastructure projects of the European Union,” said V.Ušackas.