Baltic presidents enjoy final fling

  • 2007-07-03
  • By Mike Collier

RIGA 's The presidents of the three Baltic states met at Rigacastle July 3 in order to bid a fond farewell to departing LatvianPresident Vaira Vike-Freiberga.

All three leaders pledged their sense of unity and stressed theneed to adopt a co-ordinated approach to numerous matters, includingthe key issue of relations with Russia.

In response to press questions about the recent Bronze Soldiercontroversy in Estonia, Vike-Freiberga said that "third countriesshould not react to decisions taken within independent states."

Lithuanian president Valdas Adamkus added that the eventshad given an opportunity "for an expression of our unity", whileEstonian President President Toomas Hendrik Ilves acknowledged thesupport his country had received from its neighbours.

"We can never know [which] of us will become the next enemy.That is why a strong solidarity among the three Baltic states as wellas between the Baltics and the EU is crucial," he said.

During a private session, the presidents also discussed thedevelopment of common transport and energy infrastructure projects,including the proposed Lithuanian nuclear power plant.

Following the press conference, the leaders left to enjoy aworking lunch in Jurmala with someone the two remaining incumbent presidentswill need to get to know in a hurry 's Latvia's President-electValdis Zatlers.