Baltic Foreign Ministers in Copenhagen Discussed Cooperation Perspectives with Denmark

A.Ažubalis noted that having supported twenty years ago the return of the Baltic countries to the free family of European countries, Denmark was now their active business partner, which occupied the fourth place according to foreign direct investment in Lithuania, reports BC Lithuanian MFA.

“I have no doubt that our relations have many opportunities to develop and we need to use full potential of our countries,” the Minister said.

According to A.Ažubalis, today Lithuania, as part of the Nordic-Baltic region, is safer than ever before.

“20 years ago with the help of Denmark we made our first steps into a fee world, which led us to a full-fledged membership in the European family, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and today the culmination is our Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE),” the Minister stressed.

A.Ažubalis noted that next year, Lithuania would coordinate the activities of the Nordic Baltic Eight (NB8) and E-PINE, thus the regional agenda would continue to be in the center of attention.

Lithuania and Denmark re-established diplomatic relations on 26 August 1991. Denmark was among the first countries that recognized the Independence of Lithuania.

Minister Paet emphasised to the Danish Crown Prince Frederik at the Amalienborg Palace how important Denmark’s support was. He also remarked on the special nature of the friendly ties between Estonia and Denmark in the modern context.

Paet noted that when the countries restored their freedom twenty years ago, one of the preconditions for such an achievement was the active support from friendly countries. “Even if some friends and close neighbours were questioning and sceptical towards Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania regaining their independence, Denmark was in full support of it,” he said.

The relations of the Baltic States with Denmark did not start with recognising the restoration of independence in these three countries in early 1990s – the links reach further back in history. Denmark refused to recognise the Soviet occupation and had recognised Estonia’s, Latvia’s and Lithuania’s independence beforehand already.

The Kingdom of Denmark was the second country after Iceland that restored its relations with the Republic of Estonia in August 1991, after the latter had regained its independence.

Kristovskis emphasized during the event that he highly appreciates Denmark’s support in recognition of Latvia’s independence and contribution to the country’s development. The minister stated that Denmark was the first European Union member state to recognize the Baltic States’ independence without harmonizing its decision with other member states.

The minister pointed out that Denmark played a significant part in restoration of Latvia’s independence and was the first country to sign an agreement on renewal of diplomatic relations with Latvia. On August 27, 1991, Danish Ambassador to Latvia Otto Borch became the first foreign ambassador to be accredited in Latvia.

Kristovskis lauded Denmark’s political support to the Baltic States’ EU accession, and Denmark’s assistance in transposition of EU legislation. Denmark also provided considerable support in formation of the Latvian National Armed Forces, and involvement in international cooperation mechanisms, and Latvia’s accession to NATO.

“At the moment, Latvia and Denmark are close partners in Europe and the Baltic Sea region. Both countries have common interests and vision in various areas. Latvia is interested in continuing developing dynamic relations between both countries also in the future,” emphasized Kristovskis.

By Petras Vaida (August 29, 2011)