President Rolandas Paksas of the Republic of Lithuania and Mrs. Laima Paksiene arrived for a one-day working visit to Riga.
The presidential couple of Lithuania were received by President Vaira-Vike Freiberga of the Republic of Latvia and Mr. Imants Freibergs.
The meeting focused on bilateral relations, regional co-operation and Euro-Atlantic integration as well as on the implementation of joint infrastructure projects.
The Lithuanian President stated Lithuania’s commitment to pursue its foreign policy goals of integration into the European Union and NATO, and development of good neighbour relations and regional co-operation.
More active development of trilateral co-operation, President Paksas underlined, acquires particular importance within the framework of Euro-Atlantic integration.
In reference to the economic co-operation between Lithuania and Latvia after their accession to the European Union, President Paksas said that both states would have to step up their efforts in both the internal and external markets of the European Union.
The Presidents of both states have agreed on the need to proceed with the implementation of the Via Baltica and Rail Baltica projects, and to exchange information on the strategy of utilisation of the EU funds in transport sector.
The Presidents of Lithuania and Latvia underlined that co-ordination of action in ensuring smooth ratification of their accession treaties in the EU member states would be desirable.
In the context of dynamically developing political and economic relations between Lithuania and Latvia, President Paksas emphasised the significance of cultural co-operation, human contacts and reinforcement of the common Baltic identity.
President Paksas invited President Vaira Vike-Freiberga to take part in the celebration of the 750th anniversary of the crowning of King Mindaugas of Lithuania to be held in July this year.
On the same day President Paksas met with Chairman Ingrida Udre of the Latvian Parliament and Prime Minister Einars Repse.
During the meeting with Chairman Udre of the Latvian Parliament the President of Lithuania discussed bilateral relations, regional co-operation and implementation of joint infrastructure projects.
President Paksas emphasised the need to resort to every effort in order to keep the term ‘the three Baltic states’ in international discourse.
He also stressed the continuity of Lithuania’s foreign policy goals of integration into the European Union and NATO, and development of good neighbour relations and regional co-operation.
In reference to the implementation of joint infrastructure projects, the Lithuania President underlined their significance for both states and the need to proceed with implementation of the Via Baltica and Rail Baltica projects, to exchange information about the strategy of the use of the EU allocated funds for transport sector. According to the Lithuanian President, interconnection of the power grids of Lithuania and Poland are of special importance to the region.
Chairman Udre agreed that a well-developed infrastructure would facilitate the growth of national economy of both countries and would contribute to attracting foreign investors.
During the meeting with Latvian Prime Minister Einars Repshe, the Lithuanian President discussed bilateral economic relations, and ratification of the Agreement on the delimitation of the territorial sea, exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf in the Baltic Sea.
President Paksas emphasised that Lithuania is interested in the development of mutually beneficial economic relations. He further pointed out to a highly dynamic economic co-operation and the growth of bilateral trade turnover.
“Having trade and solving issues is always better than having no trade and no issues to solve,” President Paksas remarked.
While discussing ratification of the Agreement on the delimitation of the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf in the Baltic Sea, the participants of the meeting considered various possibilities to pursue economic activities in the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf.
The President of Lithuania requested the Latvian Prime minister to take efforts to ensure bureaucracy-free environment for Lithuanian businessmen to develop businesses in Latvia.
Prime Minister Repshe pledged to address this issue.
Later President Paksas took part in the luncheon hosted by Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga.
In the afternoon President of Lithuania met in the Lithuanian Chamber of Commerce the members of the Board.
In the evening, the Lithuanian President participated in the celebration of March 11th, Day of the Restoration of the Independence of Lithuania, in the Embassy of Lithuania in Latvia, where he also had a meeting with the representatives of the Lithuanian community in Latvia.
The President of Lithuania returned to Vilnius in the evening.
Press Service of the President