PALANGA - The Baltic States must work together to defend their common interests - address energy security challenges and problems of transport isolation, develop a vision of the Eastern neighborhood, aim at achieving a universal condemnation of crimes committed by the totalitarian regimes and to negotiate the EU budget together - because they can expect positive results only when speaking with one voice, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Azubalis said, reports ELTA.
On May 11 in Palanga, he participated in the parliamentary seminar of the Baltic Assembly ‘A Baltic Voice in the European Union: Strong Enough?’ that discussed cooperation of the Baltic States in the EU and possibilities to make a greater impact on the EU agenda.
“The Baltic States have always been united in their struggle for independence. Therefore, energy independence should complete the process of integration of the Baltic States into the West, rather than become an exception. Integration of the Baltic States into the continental European electricity and gas networks should be implemented immediately. These are not just energy issues, but also national security issues,” Azubalis said.
He emphasized the importance of the EU’s Eastern neighborhood policy, which is among the priorities of Lithuania’s upcoming EU Presidency.
“Acting together the Baltic States can make a greater impact on the formation of policy for more effective relations with its neighbors in the East, particularly with the six Eastern Partnership countries. It is particularly significant that the Baltic States should be speaking with one voice during Lithuania’s Presidency of the Council of the EU,” Azubalis said.
According to him, the Baltic States will feel safer when countries at their borders will adhere to the principles of democracy, respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, when the civil society will be built and sustainable market economy will be developed.
He named another goal that all the Baltic countries shared - an appropriate evaluation of crimes committed by the totalitarian regimes and the strengthening of mutual understanding between the European nations to prevent the revival of totalitarian ideologies in the future.
“Until Europe evaluates it’s shared past, it will not be completely reunified and will not be able to create its future based on the principle of fairness. Only after we fairly evaluate crimes committed by the totalitarian regimes and appropriately honor their victims, will we be able to heal the wounds of our societies and take a brave look into the future in the family of European countries,” the minister said.
The seminar was attended by Lithuanian, Estonian and Latvian Speakers of Parliament, parliamentarians, representatives from academic communities and political scientists from various European countries.