Baltic Sea states summit pledges to boost regional prosperity

June 6, 2008

A biennial summit of leaders of 11 countries bordering the Baltic Sea pledged to strengthen cooperation among them to boost regional prosperity.

The summit that concluded in the Latvian capital Riga on Wednesday agreed to pursue environmental safety and economic development as top priorities for the Council of Baltic Sea States.

“The vision of the council will be to make the Baltic Sea region the most dynamic one and fastest-growing economy in Europe,” said Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the incoming president of the regional group.

Addressing a news conference at the conclusion of the summit, Rasmussen said the region needs secure supplies of energy for its economies to prosper, with Moscow saying it would be happy to oblige.

The Council of Baltic Sea States, which includes Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia, was created in 1992 to promote regional cooperation after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Summit participants, including nine prime ministers, debated the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline project and a proposed 18-kilometer bridge linking Denmark and Germany.