Speaker of the Seimas: Dirty energy is the issue of national security for the entire Baltic region
Press release, 4 November 2019
Photo by Olga Posaškova, Office of the Seimas
On 4 November 2019, Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas, had a meeting with Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway, who was on her visit to Lithuania. During their meeting, the Speaker of the Seimas talked about the security situation in the region and presented Lithuania’s position concerning the nuclear power plant in Astravyets and Russia’s return to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The Speaker of the Seimas noted that there currently was a lack of understanding that Russia poses a strategic threat. ‘Security situation in the Baltic region is important for all of us. It is crucial to maintain unity and support each other in the face of provocations as well as to ensure a timely and adequate response,’ Mr Pranckietis said.
The Speaker of the Seimas emphasised that the problems related to the Astravyets nuclear power plant (NPP) should be solved before the planned commissioning of the NPP and that there should be no compromise on safety. Lithuania tries to ensure permanent supervision of the project by the EU and demand that Belarus implements all the recommendations outlined in the EU Peer Review Report of the Belarus Stress Tests.
Electricity imports from the unsafe nuclear power plant will hold back the development of renewable energies in the Baltic States and will thus further increase their dependence on third countries.
The Speaker of the Seimas is convinced that trade in dirty energy, i.e. energy that is produced in violation of the international nuclear safety and environmental standards, is the issue of national security for the entire Baltic region.
At the meeting with the Norwegian Prime Minister, Mr Pranckietis reminded that Lithuania, in solidarity with Ukraine, adopted a unified stance with regard to Russia’s return to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Mr Pranckietis highlighted that application of double standards was inadmissible, having in mind the fact that the reasons which had led to the suspension of Russia’s rights in this organisation still existed. The Speaker of the Seimas expressed this point of view during his speech at the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament held in Strasbourg at the end of October. The Russian delegation stood up and walked out of the chamber during his speech.
Mr Pranckietis and the Norwegian Prime Minister also talked about the importance of cooperation between the countries and stronger inter-parliamentary ties, as well as cooperation and communication between political groups, which constitute a very important part of the dialogue enabling us to identify shared values and pursue common objectives that are important for our region.
During the meeting, the Speaker of the Seimas expressed his gratitude to Ingvald Åsmund Godal, former Member of the Norwegian Parliament, founder of the Contact Group for Relations with the Baltic Countries SOS Balticum, and a good friend of Lithuania, for his support in restoring Lithuania’s independence. The Gallery of the Defenders of Freedom of Lithuania (Building 1 of the Seimas) is currently hosting an exhibition dedicated to Godal.
Karolina Frolovienė, Spokesperson to Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas, tel. +370 5 239 6016, e-mail: [email protected]