President Valdas Adamkus, an experienced environmental expert, praised all commitments set forth in a cooperation agreement between Lithuanian and Polish environment ministries Nov. 13.
The Lithuanian president discussed a range of ecological issues concerning both countries during an interview with visiting Polish Environment Minister Stanislaw Zelichowski and his Lithuanian counterpart Arunas Kundrotas, who sealed the ecological agreement.
"Environment protection and pollution are international. Therefore, our cooperation in environmental field is particularly important for ensuring security of not only Lithuania and Poland, but also the whole region," Adamkus said.
Lithuania and Poland sealed the accord outlining a general control program on transportation and management of hazardous waste. Zelichowski said this program was approved by Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski.
Adamkus said he appreciated a 300,000-euro grant from the Polish Environment Protection and Water fund for the modernization of Marijampole's sewage treatment facilities.
The Lithuanian president and Polish Cabinet member contemplated the imminent challenges for the two states. Zelichowski said that once Lithuania and Poland joined the EU ecological problems would not cease, and the countries would have to solve them jointly. One of such problems is the fact that majority of Lithuanian and Polish forests are state-owned.
Meanwhile, the EU has got an entirely different legal system that favors private forests. Lithuania and Poland will therefore have to prove the importance of state-owned forests, Zelichowski said.
Adamkus urged the parties to pay more atttention to Lithuanian and Polish border areas and transportation of hazardous cargoes.
"This issue is on our agenda and we are doing much work in this field," Kundrotas said.