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The meeting with the Finnish President focused on energy infrastructure projects
President Gitanas Nausėda is on a working visit to Helsinki where he met with President Sauli Niinistö of Finland. President Nausėda and President Niinistö began the meeting by discussing successful bilateral relations, highlighting the progress made in developing economic ties and innovation.
“Lithuania’s cooperation with Finland is close and strong: we are members of the European Union and cooperate in the Nordic-Baltic (NB8) format. Finnish business investments in Lithuania contribute to the economic stability of our country, and we see a growing interest of Nordic companies to do business in Lithuania. Tourism volumes are also growing. However, we can extend cooperation formats even further by engaging more actively in Finland’s innovation development programs, adopting good practices of fighting climate change, and ensuring sustainable development of the state”, the President said.
The two leaders also discussed regional security and nuclear safety. President Nausėda emphasized Lithuania’s position on the unsafe Ostravets nuclear power plant and the need for Finland and Lithuania to work together to ensure the safety of people and create a competitive electricity market in the Nordic and Baltic region. Possible solidarity among the EU members states in limiting the import of electricity from third countries if its production does not meet nuclear safety or environmental requirements was also discussed.
The Presidents also talked about the implementation status of gas interconnection projects. “Lithuania supports regional gas market integration projects and is ready to contribute to the creation of a unified gas area in the region by implementing a more favorable tariff policy. Finnish companies increasingly use the Klaipeda LNG terminal, and we called for even more active cooperation, especially when the gas connection with Poland is in operation and the Baltic Connector project is implemented. This will ensure the sustainability of the gas market between the Nordic region and continental Europe”, the President said.
Regional cooperation in the NB8 format was also discussed, and the importance of communication among municipalities and people-to-people contacts was highlighted. “We highly value Nordic and Baltic cooperation in NB8 format and seek to strengthen it, especially among municipalities, cultural and educational institutions. It is a great opportunity for Lithuania and Finland to initiate joint regional projects given the fact that Finland will preside over NB8 in 2021, and Lithuania in 2022”, the President said. The President invited Finland to contribute to the funding of the activities of the European Humanities University, focusing on the programs aimed at the promotion of human rights and democratic values in Belarus.
At the meeting, the two Presidents agreed to cooperate even more closely on the development of NATO-Finland partnership to counter hybrid and cyber security threats that have become increasingly relevant to both Lithuania and Finland in recent years. The two country leaders touched upon the EU Eastern Partnership policy and agreed to develop joint projects with Ukraine in order to contribute to its efforts to fight corruption, increase competitiveness and political stability.
During the working visit to Finland, the President will meet with the Prime Minister, Speaker of the Parliament, and the Lithuanian community, and will lay a wreath at Marshal Mannerheim Memorial.
The President’s first visit to Finland takes place as Finland holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The President‘s Communication Group
Photos: Robertas Dačkus / Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania