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Baltic leaders push for Russian gas alternatives

  • 2013-10-31
  • By Rayyan Sabet-Parry, RIGA

The presidents of the Baltic States have met to discuss major security issues in the region. Presidents Andris Berzins of Latvia, Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania and Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia held talks in Riga on Oct. 31 to discuss energy, economic, military and information security. 

Finding alternatives to Russian gas supplies was a major topic of discussion for the leaders. 

It’s hoped a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal to be launched at the end of 2014 in Klaipeda could be an alternative to Gazprom gas, Grybauskaite said.

The terminal could supply gas to Estonia and Latvia as well, if needed, she added. “New challenges mobilize the Baltic States. The unity we had in our fight for freedom and independence now brings us together for collaborative work,” said the Lithuanian president.

“We must work together to ensure the energy future of the region, looking for common solutions to combat the threats of the intensifying information war and resist economic pressure.”

Major NATO military exercises being held from Nov. 2-9 in Latvia and Poland were also discussed and increasing NATO presence in the countries was emphasized.

Vilnius hosts a key Eastern Partnership summit on Nov. 26-28, where Ukraine and Moldova are expected to sign major association agreements with the European Union.