By The Baltic Times (December 2, 2011)
The evening of Dec. 1 saw the beginning of a two-day meeting of the presidents of the Baltic States and Poland, initiated by Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the head of this year’s presidency of Baltic cooperation, in Vihula, Estonia.
Dalia Grybauskaite, Andris Berzins and Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the presidents of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, respectively, on Dec. 1 discussed common transport and energy projects, regional security and the Baltic contribution thereto. Baltic Sea cooperation in general, not only within the context of the Nordic countries, as well as the financial future of the European Union will be discussed with the president of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski, who also joined the meeting.
Today [Nov.2], the Commissioner for Transport and Vice President of the European Commission, Siim Kallas, will present to Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish heads of state the Rail Baltica project, which is planned to connect the Baltic States with the rest of Europe.
“The Baltic States and Poland represent a regional force which should be seriously considered; cooperation within the Baltic Sea region will make our voice even stronger,” stated President Ilves before the meeting. “Of course, this requires mature responsibility from all of us. As we joined NATO, we confirmed our commitment to being providers, and not just consumers, of security, and mature countries live up to their words. Only then will we have the right to expect similar approaches and equal treatment from other responsible countries of the European Union and NATO.”