President Karis: Estonia, Lithuania must address security concerns jointly

President Karis (left) and President Nauseda in Vilnius on October 27,
President Karis (left) and President Nauseda in Vilnius on October 27, Source: Office of the President of the Republic of Estonia.

Active cooperation in security, infrastructure and within the framework of the European Union are of shared, mutual importance, President Alar Karis said Wednesday.

The new president was in Vilnius, Lithuania, meeting his counterpart there, Gitanas Nausėda, in his second official visit in as many days.

Karis said that the two countries:" Have common security concerns, and we must work closely together to deal with these, both within NATO and when planning joint activities among the Baltic States."

Infrastructure projects such as the planned Rail Baltic were also of joint interest, he added, pointing out the high speed rail link's raison d'etre.

"Building and modernizing the infrastructure in our region is an important issue for our economic development. Rail Baltica is both a regional and an EU project. We must work together to connect all three of our capitals with the rest Europe, which is also the basis for the EU funding," he continued, according to a president's office press release.


Hybrid attacks on the Belarus-EU border, including with Lithuania, where vulnerable third-country nationals are exploited for illegal border crossings, must be jointly condemned, Karis added, and the threat to national security of all three Baltic States must be addressed by sanctions.

Other infrastructure projects including the synchronization of the Baltic States' electricity networks and its decoupling from the Russian grid system, as well as a planned Estonian-Latvian offshore wind farm project in the Gulf of Riga, merited attention at the meeting, with Karis noting the importance of EU funding again.

The Estonian president also congratulated his Lithuania colleague on the election of the country as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, praising and highlighting its importance for Estonia.

Nausėda was the second head of state President Karis has met since assuming office on October 11.

He had met with Finland's president, Sauli Niinistö, in Helsinki on Tuesday, in a meeting which had been postponed nearly two weeks, after Niinistö had had to isolate as a coronavirus close contact

He has yet to meet with Latvia's president, Egils Levits, when the planned meeting in Riga, also on October 14, went ahead, but without the Latvian head of state, who had in fact tested positive for covid.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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