Estonian, Lithuanian foreign ministers speak on security, cooperation
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Estonia and Latvia, Jürgen Ligi and Linas Linkevičius, spoke about Estonian-Lithuanian relations, the future of Europe, the Eastern Partnership, security and regional cooperation during their meeting in Vilnius in Thursday.
"Our values and interets overlap; we also perceive the concerns that Europe is faced with in a very similar fashion," Ligi was quoted by spokespeople for the Estonian ministry as saying.
Ligi and Linkevičius spoke about the EU's relationship with its eastern partners and supporting them in carrying out reforms.
"The Eastern Partnership is an important part of the EU's common foreign policy," said Ligi. "We intend to be committed to it during the Estonian presidency of the EU as well."
The ministers stated that they were pleased that EU member states gave the presidency the mandate the day before to initiate negotiations with the European Parliament on visa freedom with Georga.
"This demonstrates unanimous support by all EU member states for Georga," explained Ligi, adding that Estonia supported granting visa freedom to Ukraine as well.
Other subjects discussed at the meeting included energy and transport-related projects.
"Diversification of the Baltic countries' sources of energy and establishing new connections with Europe serve the interests of strengthening regional energy security," noted the Estonian minister, adding that energy-related matters would benefit from Estonia's attention during its EU presidency as well. Ligi also stressed the importance of the Rail Baltic project.
Other subjects discussed by Ligi and Linkevičius on Thursday included regional economic developments, the migrant crisis, relations with Russia as well as the situation in Ukraine. Lithuania's experience serving as president of the European Council in 2013 and Estonia's preparations for its EU presidency beginning July 1 next year were discussed as well.
While in Vilnius, Ligi also met with the Seimas' Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Benediktas Juodka.