Norwegian premier: Lithuania can choose its own security system

  • 2000-10-19
OSLO (BNS) - Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, currently on a visit to Oslo, Norway has discussed bilateral relations and Lithuania's Euro Atlantic aspirations during a meeting with the Norwegian prime minister.

The Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, told journalists after the meeting on Oct. 16 that his country would support Lithuania's NATO and EU membership aspirations.

"Our economic relations will become closer after Lithuania has joined the EU. We are within the European economic space, regardless of the fact that Norway is not part of the EU", Stoltenberg said.

He said that Norway, as a member of the North Atlantic alliance, supported the right of every state to choose its own security system, for example, similar to NATO.

The prime minister said that Lithuanian-Norwegian bilateral relations were excellent and so was the cooperation of the Baltic Sea states. Stoltenberg welcomed Lithuania's decision to decommission power unit one at the Ignalina nuclear power plant by 2005.

"Norway supports this decision because it is very important to the protection of the environment and to the safety of the entire region," he said.

In his turn, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus voiced his congratulations on Norway becoming a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Adamkus said that this was important to all Scandinavian and Baltic countries.

The officials also discussed relations with Russia as both Lithuania and Norway have a border with that country. Adamkus briefed his interlocutor about Lithuania's good relations policy and cooperation with the Kaliningrad region.

The Northern gas grid project initiated by Norway, which would supply Norwegian natural gas to the states of the Baltic Sea region, was also discussed.

Lithuania has voiced its wish to join the project, although so far no specific details have been released.

Lithuanian-Norwegian economic relations have widened this year. During the first six months of this year Lithuania's exports to Norway increased 20 percent, and imports by almost 1.5 per cent. At the moment Norway ranks ninth among investors in Lithuania.