President Kaljulaid's third state visit to Lithuania
Following the first two state visits of her presidency to Finland and Latvia last week, President Kersti Kaljulaid visited Lithuania for her third on Wednesday, where she met with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė in Vilnius.
"Lithuania is a good neighbor to Estonia, a close partner in the EU and an ally in NATO," Kaljulaid said after a meeting with her Lithuanian counterpart. "Our region's strength is ensured by the unity of the Baltic states on key topics such as security and energy independence."
The two presidents spoke about the future of the EU, the Ukraine-Russia crisis, the Baltic countries' defense cooperation and energy independence, the migration crisis, the Eastern Partnership as well as the impact of the British referendum on the EU, spokespeople for the Office of the President said.
Ensuring the security of Europe is a central challenge both because of the aggressive behavior of Russia and the growing threat of terrorism. "One of the mainstays for strengthening the security of our region is cooperation amongthe Baltic countries, including by making an input to joint projects that ensure energy independence," said the Estonian president. "Considering the global events, this is increasingly important for our region."
The two heads of state also spoke about the future of Rail Baltic as an important project for the region. "This is an initiative that will at once both help to better still interconnect the Baltic countries with one another on the one hand and connect the countries of our region with the rest of Europe," Kaljulaid said, adding that it was in everyone's interests to move forward quickly with the project.
The two presidents upheld the same positions when speaking about the ongoing migrant crisis. "We have to focus on the elements that unite the member states, not the ones that divide them," said the Estonian president. "Countries must display solidarity in fulfilling the European migration plan while increasing the efficiency of the EU's external borders and working together with third countries to solve the root causes of migration."
Speaking regarding the Eastern Partnership, Kaljulaid said that the plan is a long-term foreign policy priority. "It is important to go on supporting the countries of the Eastern Partnership in carrying out reforms," she said.
Wednesday's visit to Lithuania is President Kaljulaid's third state visit since taking office earlier this month. Kaljulaid initiated her introductory state visits in neighboring Finland and Latvia last week and is scheduled to continue with a visit to Poland next week.