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The Presidents of the Baltic States made a joint statement

The Presidents of the Baltic States attending the Baltic Development Forum in Riga at their today's meeting made a joint statement inviting governments and business community to make their contributions to the successful integration of the Baltic Sea region into the common European economy.

"We, the Presidents of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, welcome the spirit of public and private partnership of the Baltic Development Forum in shaping the Baltic Sea region as a dynamic economic frontrunner in Europe," runs the joint statement by Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Estonian President Arnold Rüütel and Lithuanian President Rolandas Paksas.

The meeting of the Presidents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania also addressed the future cooperation among the Baltic States. The Heads of State noted that their countries' accession to the European Union created additional preconditions for working together, and discussed more thoroughly cooperation at the Intergovernmental Conference as well as developing a common electricity market and infrastructure projects.

The Estonian Head of State once again emphasized the need to optimise the Baltic energy market and to rapidly complete the modern transport links Via Baltica and Rail Baltica. In addition, President Rüütel touched upon the topic of maritime safety calling for a responsible approach to the protection of the Baltic Sea.

The Baltic Presidents at their today's meeting also discussed cooperation with Balkan and Caucasian countries that have expressed interest in Estonia's, Latvia’s and Lithuania's experience in carrying out the process of democratization and reforms.

President Rüütel this morning at the plenary session of the Baltic Development Forum gave a talk focussing on the future cooperation in the European Union and, in particular, on the need to protect the Baltic Sea. The Estonian Head of State today in Riga also had a meeting with Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, former Foreign Minister of Denmark and present Chairman of the Baltic Development Forum.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, October 6, 2003

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