Baltic countries’ leaders call on EU to agree on COVID-19 vaccination deadlines

  • 2021-01-19
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The leaders of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have called on the heads of the European Union’s (EU) institutions to agree on targets and deadlines for the collective immunity of EU citizens at the upcoming European Council.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins and Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas urged the European leaders to take immediate action to ensure speed and efficiency of the vaccination process, the Lithuanian presidential office said in a press release.

“We must be ambitious at both EU and national level to achieve collective immunity within the EU. Setting a clear deadline and a specific commitment would help speed up the vaccination process,” the Baltic leaders said in their joint letter.

The Baltic leaders stressed that vaccination was the key tool for saving lives, easing lockdown restrictions and returning to sustainable economic growth. Therefore, it was necessary to increase vaccine production capacity and to coordinate the actions of the member states responsibly.

The Lithuanian presidential office on Tuesday unveiled plans to have at least 70 percent of the country’s population vaccinated by the end of summer.

In their joint letter, the Baltic leaders pointed out the need to find ways to help the Eastern Partnership countries to deal with the vaccination challenge. The Baltic leaders called on the Commission to draft proposals for a joint EU support mechanism to help the EU neighbors.

The joint letter was sent to President of the European Council Charles Michel, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and Prime Minister António Costa of Portugal, Presidency of the Council of the European Union.