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The Baltic Heads of State met in Tartu

Mayor Andrus Ansip welcomed the Presidents of the Baltic States at the Town Hall of TartuThis morning, a traditional working meeting of the Presidents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the main topic at which was the cooperation between the Baltic States under the new conditions – those of Member States of the European Union and NATO - took place in Tartu.

The Baltic Heads of State reiterated their common positions expressed already earlier, in particular, that the European Union was an alliance of equal member states, in the functioning of which productiveness was of paramount importance. The Presidents were optimistic as to the positive outcome of the referendums on the accession to the European Union.

At the today’s meeting, in addition, the development of relations and future visa regime with the neighbours of the Baltic States, first of all with Russia who will become a new neighbour of the European Union too, were under discussion.

Talking about the Baltic States’ contribution to safeguarding world peace and security, the Presidents highlighted regional cooperation, development of joint defence structures for the purpose of combating cross-border crime and terrorism as well as participating in NATO joint operations.

The discussion about economic relations focussed on the need to develop infrastructure. The Estonian Head of State noted that Via Baltica’s completion was in the interests of all the Baltic States. This work, in the President’s estimation, was carried out successfully in the Baltic States, but there was a bottleneck in Poland. For that reason, President Rüütel suggested to discuss this issue also at the next meeting between the Baltic Heads of State and with the President of Poland as well. They intend to continue also their talks about connecting the Lithuanian energy system to those of Estonia and Latvia.

After the working meeting, Mayor Andrus Ansip welcomed the Presidents of the Baltic States at the Town Hall of Tartu. Thereafter, the Presidents visited the University of Tartu and, in the afternoon, the Baltic Defence College.

Office of the President
Tartu, April 24, 2003

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