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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Estonia Supports Lithuania Acceding to the Euro Zone and OECD As Soon As Possible

13.03.2013

No 94-E

While meeting with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius in Tallinn today, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet confirmed that Estonia fully supports Lithuania’s efforts to join the euro zone as well as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). “We would like to see Lithuania in the euro zone and the OECD as soon as possible,” said Paet.

The Estonian foreign minister wished Lithuania luck in preparing for and assuming the European Union Presidency, which will begin in July of this year. “Lithuania’s priorities are all very important topics for Estonia. We are also interested in learning about Lithuania’s experiences with preparing for and organising the presidency,” he said.

During the meeting, the foreign ministers also noted that Estonia and Lithuania  share interests in carrying out regional transport and energy security projects. “One of our essential goals is to complete the railway connection Rail Baltic,” said Paet. The Rail Baltic project plays an important role in improving transport connections between the Nordic-Baltic region and other areas of Europe.

In addition to developing the transportation infrastructure, Estonia and Lithuania also prioritise the diversification of energy connections and suppliers. “To ensure the energy security of our entire region, it is important to network and find various connections and supply sources. It is necessary for the new energy connections between Lithuania and Poland as well as Lithuania and Sweden to be completed,” stated Paet.

The foreign ministers also touched on Estonia and Lithuania’s economic and trade relations during their meeting. Paet said that economic and trade relations between the countries are lively and moving towards growth. “Lithuania is ranked first among recipients of Estonian investments and fifth among export and import partners, but we still see room for development concerning Lithuania’s investments in Estonia,” said Paet.

The foreign ministers also spoke about matters related to Eastern Partnership and the Eastern Partnership summit taking place in Vilnius at the end of the year. According to Paet, Estonia would like to see clear progress made in relations with Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia, and Azerbaijan this year. “We support greater political and economic integration of the Eastern Partnership countries with the European Union,” he said.

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/sets/721576329884...

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