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Presidents of Baltic states, Poland to discuss security, joint projects

December 02, 2014, 6:55 UTC+3 TALLINN
Strengthening defence co-operation and intensification of military manoeuvres with the participation of other NATO allies will be one of the issues to be discussed at the talks
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TALLINN, December 2. /TASS/. Issues of regional security in the context of the situation in Ukraine and joint economic project will be discussed on Tuesday by Presidents of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Latvia Andris Berzins and Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite. Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski is invited to their annual meeting that will be held at the Kхue mansion near Tallinn.

Strengthening defence co-operation and intensification of military manoeuvres with the participation of other NATO allies will be one of the issues to be discussed at the talks.

The heads of the Baltic states share the view that the issue of their countries’ security is inseparable from security of Poland, so the discussion of the common challenges and threats in this sphere will be more effective in the “three plus one format.” This principle, for example, is used in the defence of the airspace of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that do not have the military aircraft for this purpose. Their partners in NATO have been doing this on a rotational basis since 2004. Patrolling is conducted from the Lithuanian airbase Zokniai and Estonia’s Amari Air Base. Fighters of the NATO allies for reinforcing the patrolling are based at the Polish city of Malbork. The presidents also intend to discuss economic issues. The Baltic countries are implementing or developing joint energy and transport projects. Some of them include Poland by logical extension, for example, in the construction of the Rail Baltic international speed line. The railway will connect Helsinki with Warsaw between which the European gauge tracks will be laid that Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia so far do not have. The project for the construction of the Visaginas nuclear power plant in Lithuania by the Baltic countries is problematic so far. Poland had previously participated in it, however in 2011 Warsaw announced its withdrawal from the project. Tallinn and Riga are dissatisfied with the delays and uncertainty of Vilnius that is also hesitant itself in this costly undertaking.

On January 1, 2015, Latvia will assume the EU Council presidency. The presidents at their meeting will discuss the priorities of Riga’s presidency.

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