Prime Minister Jüri Ratas met with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė in Tallinn on Tuesday, where the meeting focused on the priorities of the upcoming Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU, energy, transport issues as well as regional security.
Estonia and Lithuania have strong bilateral relations, Ratas affirmed. "We hold similar stances on a number of matters and have a shared interest in the implementation of regional transport and energy projects," he highlighted.
Ratas said that Estonia supports the synchronization of the Baltic power systems through Poland via transmission lines located in two routes. "The synchronization of the Baltic power systems needs to meet three objectives: guarantee the high security and independence of electricity supply, secure the functioning of the electricity market as well as ensure the lowest possible expenses for the consumer," he explained.
Grybauskaitė and Ratas also discussed the construction of a regional LNG terminal. "While the floating LNG terminal on a rented vessel in Klaipėda provided a quick solution and diversified the region's gas supply sources, a long-term solution would be a regional LNG terminal in the Gulf of Finland," Ratas said. "A survey commissioned by the European Commission also supports such a long-term solution."
According to Ratas, Estonia and Lithuania also have similar positions on Rail Baltic. "This is a project of high regional importance," he said. "It will stimulate the economies of the Baltic countries and create a permanent transport link between the Baltic countries and the rest of Europe. We also need to make a joint effort to ensure the co-financing of the Rail Baltic project in the next EU budget period. Joint transport and energy projects strengthen security in the Baltic region."
Speaking about the priorities of the upcoming Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU, Ratas said that in its six-month preidency term, Estonia seeks to strengthen the unity of the EU and strike a balance between varying opinions, traditions and interests.
"The EU is facing a number of complex issues," he acknowledged. "For instance, we need to find a solution for the reform of the Common European Asylum System. Likewise on the table are issues concerning the clean energy package and the objectives of the Agreement."
Ratas also invited Grybauskaitė back to Tallinn to participate in the digital technology summit scheduled for Sept. 29. The summit will focus on the future of a digital Europe.
"Estonia has a good reputation as an e-country and is expected to contribute significantly to the field," Ratas said. "Over the next six months, we will also focus on e-solutions and the free movement of data as well as on the development of cross-border e-services and e-commerce."
Editor: Aili Vahtla