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Estonia passes Baltic Assembly presidency to Lithuania

Baltic flags.
Baltic flags. Source: Annika Haas

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have together become a force to be reckoned, the chair of the Baltic Assembly said during the 42nd Session on Friday.

On Friday, the 42nd Session of the Baltic Assembly was held in Tallinn which saw Estonia pass the presidency to Lithuania.

During the session, a resolution was adopted that stressed further cooperation is needed to strengthen defense cooperation, crisis management, civil defense, the media and information space, energy, transport infrastructure, and protection of biodiversity.

President of the Baltic Assembly and Head of the Estonian Delegation Timo Suslov, who chaired the Session, thanked the neighbors for their excellent cooperation.

"Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have together become a force to be reckoned with, having a real impact on world politics – and this cooperation will continue. We will also continue to work to make the Baltic States secure, connected and innovative, and we will hand over the BA Presidency to Lithuania with dignity," he said.

The new president of the BA Andrius Kupčinskas addressed the Assembly and gave an overview of Lithuania's priorities during its presidency under the motto 'Growing strong and resilient together'.

Latvian, Estonian, and Lithuanian foreign ministers in the Riigikogu on November 24, 2023. Source: Annika Haas

The Baltic Council, the cooperation assembly of the governments and the parliaments of the Baltic States, also held its sitting on Friday.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) chaired the 29th session of the Baltic Council and said cooperation is particularly important in light of the complicated international security situation.

He also reaffirmed the unwavering unity of the Baltic States both in the international arena and in supporting Ukraine.

"We are standing together in defending the gates of the Western world," Tsahkna said. "For Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, existential security interests are at stake in the current security situation."

He said the Baltic States needed to concentrate on raising the cost of the aggression right now, including developing new sanctions packages with the European Union.

Tsahkna noted that as border states, the Baltic States have a central role in preventing Russia from circumventing sanctions.

In his speech, the minister underlined the role of improved connectivity in ensuring the security of the Baltic States, including the need to make sure Rail Baltic is completed by 2030. He also spoke about disconnecting energy links with Russia and transitioning to renewable energy as key steps in Baltic energy policy.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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