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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 16.07.2019, 13:37

Lithuanian and Latvian PMs discussed Rail Baltica and LNG terminal

BC, Vilnius, 14.02.2014.Print version
On Friday, the newly-appointed Prime Minister of Latvia Laimdota Straujuma is paying her first visit to Lithuania. The Latvian Prime Minister began her visit in Lithuania with the meeting with Lithuania's Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius. The meeting of the prime ministers focused on railway Rail Baltica project, informs LETA/ELTA.

Laimdota Straujuma and Algirdas Butkevicius. Vilnius, 14.02.2014. Photo:

After the meeting, Straujuma said Latvia understood Lithuania's seek to join its capital Vilnius to the route of railway Rail Baltica, and stressed that it was essential to prepare the project by 2016.


Speaking of bilateral relations, the Latvian head of the Cabinet highlighted the importance of energy projects. When discussing the construction of the Visaginas nuclear power plant, Straujuma said that "Latvia's position on this issue is positive," yet the government was waiting for estimates.


The Latvian prime minister did not give a direct answer to the question whether Latvia would consider purchasing gas from Lithuania's LNG terminal if gas price was more favourable compared to that offered by Gazprom.


"Naturally, we should discuss it with the prime minister, yet economic indicators are of great importance. As far as I know, gas is also supplied to Lithuania from Latvia's Incukalnis Underground Gas Storage," said Straujuma.


The Latvian head of the Government noted that she was ready to share Latvia's experience with Lithuania. Based on the latest polls, 53% of Latvians support the euro, while 60% say that the euro introduction has been smooth.


"A very positive thing in Latvia was that there was a lot of time to explain the significance of the euro introduction to people. Also the period for exchanging lats for euros was quite sufficient – for two weeks it was possible to make payment both in euros and lats. While, in the Bank of Latvia it will be always possible to exchange lats for euros; as a result, there is no reason for people's concern about not being able to exchange lats for euros," said Straujuma.


The Latvian prime minister drew attention to the fact that Latvian companies had committed to not increase prices during the adoption of the euro and this price monitoring would be taking place for a half a year, until June.


"96% of prices have remained stable," said Straujuma.


The prime minister regards relations between Lithuania and Latvia as very good. She mentioned flows of emigration among the common problems that would be necessary to be solved in the future.


The Lithuanian and Latvian prime ministers also discussed plans for further bilateral cooperation and a possibility of holding a joint sitting of the two Cabinets. The meeting also covered commemorations of the 25th anniversary of the Baltic Way and the Day of Baltic Unity. "This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Baltic Way. It is noteworthy that our Governments have decided to set up working groups for organising events to commemorate this historic anniversary," said the Lithuanian prime minister.


Prime Minister Butkevicius wished success to the Latvian prime minister upon her recent appointment to the office and expressed hope that close cooperation traditions will be maintained. The Lithuanian prime minister congratulated Straujuma on the medals the Latvian Olympic lugers, and wished further success to the Latvian athletes at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

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