Baltics, Poland agree on joint post-coronavirus crisis response

  • 2020-06-02
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The Baltic states and Poland have on Tuesday agreed on joint post-coronavirus-crisis actions, stressing the importance of cooperation on exchanging information and seeking enhanced security in the region as well as supporting the Eastern Partnership program.

"We reconfirm our commitment to continue to work together in finding responses to current challenges, and in order to promote security and prosperity in the region and entire Europe," reads the document signed by the Baltic foreign ministers in Tallinn on Tuesday.

It also stresses that cooperation should start from "close contacts and exchange of information between neighbors".

The agreement states the objective to overcome the crisis and "coordinate post-crisis measures aimed at reducing negative impact in different areas, especially on economic, social, security sectors".

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said during a press conference today that Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz was introduced to the Baltic states' experience in implementing the initiative to open border to the countries' citizens.

"We agreed on the importance to share the information between the Baltic friends and Poland, and also we agreed that the full set of information is shared and we cooperate also in that matter, as already gradually we have passed from our decisions to let Polish people to enter to our territories. And also gradually Poland has eased its health restrictions," Reinsalu said.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius underlined that the so-called Baltic "bubble" has served its purpose, despite the Baltic governments' different procedures.

"We have the same benchmarks, the same attitude, approach, criteria how to treat our citizens, how to apply restrictive measures or ease these measures gradually. So this coordination is really quite valuable," Linkevicius said.

The Baltic states also agreed to continue their support to Eastern Partnership countries, continue developing NATO’s defensive posture in our region, including through training, exercising and increasing interoperability among the four multinational NATO battlegroups and enhancing regional air defense capabilities. And they also agreed to enhance their work in building cyber and hybrid resilience.

"Enhanced military presence of the United States in our region is an essential element of security. We also need to address and ensure the security of communications, including 5G," the joint statement reads.

It also states that timely synchronization of the Baltic states with continental Europe networks via Poland is of crucial importance to the energy security of our states.