Politics

Lithuanian President’s state visit in Germany

State visit of President Dalia Grybauskaitė

April 20th, 2016
Bettina Kovacs, Berlin Global
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On April 20th-21st President Dalia Grybauskaitė made a state visit in Germany, to discuss both bilateral and international issues with German leaders and representatives of the private sector. Her excellency held meetings with German President Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel, and visited the Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam. Also, as a special occasion, she opened the Lithuanian-German business forum with the aim of negotiating the prospects of the cooperation.

Besides deepening bilateral relations, the visit focused on dealing with the currently most important geopolitical issues, including the waves of refugees coming to Europe, Russian aggression in the neighborhood, terrorism threats and energy - nuclear security. The leaders exchanged ideas on the most effective measures to reduce migration flows and on the impact of sanctions on Russia and on the implementation of the Minsk agreement. In the topic of nuclear security, politicians concentrated on the Astravyets nuclear power plant and on the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, in the case of both of them, they are in violation of international energy requirements. Special attention was paid on security and defense issues, because the two countries are important partners and the strategic cooperation in NATO is vital for Lithuania. Germany participates in the Baltic air policing mission and a significant amount of German military equipment unit will arrive in Lithuania this year.

Germany is the third largest economic partner of Lithuania and German business people have already invested 1.2 billion euros in Lithuania. Also this country is home to almost 500 German capital companies with 17 thousand jobs. The main goal of the economic discussion is to open up new possibilities of cooperation for businesspeople and scientists in the field of innovation and the life sciences. The business forum brings together 50 representatives from business and science organizations. The Lithuanian life science sector is one of the most advanced in the region and is still expanding. Last but not least, the two countries maintain dynamic cooperation in education and culture. For instance, Germany has 10 centers for Baltic studies at its largest universities and Lithuanian artists actively engage in German cultural projects.

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