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Croatia And Lithuania Focus On Strengthening Relationships

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: LTgov}

Lithuania

 Zagreb – President Dalia Grybauskaitė, who is in Croatia for an official visit, met with the newly elected Croatian President, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, in Zagreb.

The presidents of Lithuania and Croatia discussed energy independence, military security, economic cooperation, as well as women’s rights and leadership.

“Croatia, who joined the European Union several years ago, is an example of success and an important partner of Lithuania in the Adriatic Sea region. Cooperation between our two countries has just started to gain momentum. Lithuania’s experience in energy security is of great relevance to Croatia, while Croatia’s market is of interest to our businesses. We are united by common objectives and similar views on issues of strategic importance to Europe and matters of significance to our people’s security and well-being,” the President said.

Both Lithuania and Croatia place a very special focus on energy security. The President shared Lithuania’s experience in building an LNG terminal in Klaipėda. Croatia intends to construct a similar terminal on the island of KRK. One third of the crew on the Lithuanian LNG carrier Independence are Croatians. The Lithuania and Croatian LNG terminals are included in the EU list of strategically important energy objects.

Lithuania and Croatia hold the same position on the changed geopolitical situation and Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. The ongoing military exercises at Lithuania’s and Croatia’s borders have made both countries focus on defense and security. Lithuania and Croatia seek to have the agreements reached at the Wales summit fully implemented and to be properly prepared to counter hybrid threats.

The President of Croatia, who had earlier worked as NATO Assistant Secretary-General for Public Diplomacy, well understands the real impact of the information warfare and hostile propaganda on the security of states.

Lithuania and Croatia also cooperate on topical EU issues. Both countries support EU enlargement. Both share the same standpoint with respect to refugees and the world’s largest trade deal – the free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States.

Speaking about bilateral relations, the Lithuanian president underlined that she saw a huge unused potential for investment and exports in the field of economic cooperation. Even though trade between the two countries grew by more than 46 percent over the past several years, economic indicators could be better. According to the President, cooperation ties should be strengthened in business and innovation. The successful export of the Lithuanian hard cheese Džiugas to Croatia is best proof that Croatia could be a good market for Lithuanian-made food products.

Among the other issues discussed at the meeting were women’s rights and leadership. Lithuania and Croatia are the only countries in Europe who are led by women presidents elected by direct popular vote. President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has already joined the Council of Women World Leaders chaired by the Lithuanian president. The Council serves as a platform of cooperation for highest-level women leaders in strengthening women’s leadership in politics and business, improving their situation around the world, and dealing with violence against women.

During her official visit, President Dalia Grybauskaitė will also meet with Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanović, open a high-level energy conference and pay tribute to the victims of war.

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