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Remarks by Valdas Adamkus, President of the Republic of Lithuania at Energy Security Summit in Kiev


2008.05.23

23.05.2008

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I want to thank President Yushchenko for organizing such an important event. Today’s high level meeting in Kiev proves that energy security dialogue which we started in Krakow, continued in Vilnius is viable, lasting and significant.

Energy-related issues have become not only the most important, but also one of the most urgent issues in international politics today. A choice of energy supplies, political and economic stability, climate change, alternative energy resources, oil prices, sustainable economic growth-all are highly interrelated. Indeed, interdependence is the central reality of the world energy market today. In this situation one element more than others determines if the world is a safer or a more dangerous place. This element is responsibility.

Therefore, the key to a safer, more stable and more prosperous world lies in pursuing responsible national energy policies, and in a shared international responsibility for a global energy landscape.

Recently Lithuania has taken numerous steps to become a more responsible energy partner. For example, we substantially increased our efforts aimed at solving the problem of EU “energy island” to which the Baltic States belong. We are developing power bridges with Poland and Sweden. Five days ago Vilnius and Warsaw established a company which will construct the power bridge with Poland. Consistent and speedy progress in developing another commercially viable project- power bridge with Sweden- would send a clear and strong message for Europe that Lithuania and its partners are serious about solving the problem of “energy island”. These two projects have strategic importance not just for the region, but for the whole EU. It is hard to speak about effective European energy market without integrating separated markets to the common EU energy network.

We are also making progress in the project to build a new nuclear power plant in Lithuania. This will help to solve the problem of possible electricity shortage in the region as well as to diversify energy sources. I hope that we will work very closely with our partners to conclude this project in the due time.

Countries in the Baltic-Black Sea region likewise show initiatives to increase European energy security. Krakow energy format is an indispensable tool in this regard, as it creates a platform where states can have an open dialogue, exchange their opinions, line up their attitudes and come up with the creative solutions. I see the efforts of Ukraine and other states of bringing Caspian-Black Sea and EU countries at one table where they can discuss energy problems together. I support these efforts and welcome the initiative by the Ukrainian side to establish global energy security principles which would govern energy policies in the whole Baltic-Black-Caspian Sea space. This initiative needs further consideration and I hope that our experts will work on that.

Energy security presents us with multifaceted challenges that require international sustained efforts. But nothing will be done if we wait for all and every country to join these efforts. Therefore, I think that countries of the Krakow initiative have to continue and increase their cooperation, which positively shapes European energy landscape. Our efforts can be helpful in five ways here.

First of all, we have to take responsibility not only for our own, but for the regional energy security policy.

Then we have further to promote the fundamental principles formulated in the Energy Charter Treaty and reiterated in Vilnius Energy Summit Chair Conclusions. These principles are: transparency, mutual confidence, reciprocity, non-discrimination, competition and others.

Next, our efforts should be aimed at extending the common EU regulatory framework further to the East. It is important to conclude negotiations with Turkey, Ukraine and Moldova leading to their full-fledged membership to the Energy Community as well as to encourage its further extension to the South Caucasus countries. This would contribute to stable and predictable relations with partners along EU borders.

Another concrete step that our countries can take is the continuation of the Odesa-Brody-Plock-Gdansk project. Successful implementation of this project would create the real possibilities for direct transportation of Caspian oil to Europe. It is essential that Azerbaijan as the oil supplier is fully engaged in this project. Attraction of Kazakhstan oil would be of strategic importance. I am sure that Odesa-Brody-Plock-Gdansk pipeline will be beneficial and will bring added value for all the participants. Suppliers will benefit from the diversified markets and Europe will benefit from the choice of suppliers- which is the main condition for global energy security. 

And finally, we should help to develop broad energy partnership between the European Union on one hand and the Black and Caspian Sea countries on the other hand.

These are five concrete lines of how our energy cooperation should develop. I will consider it a success if in six months we can report about the progress in each of these five fields.

Let me conclude by saying that energy –related issue is a major challenge of our times. Like other major challenges, such as Europe’s reconstruction after the War or democratic changes in 1990s, energy security requires different set of thinking and different behaviour among the states. Looking back at the progress the EU and countries of the Krakow initiative made in the last several years, I am optimistic that we are able to live up to this challenge and to create safer, more stable and more prosperous continent from Lisbon to Astana. 

H.E. Mr. Valdas Adamkus, President of the Republic of Lithuania

 


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