Merkel: Lithuania is important country for EU energy
She said cooperation between Germany and the Baltic state is very close in many policy areas.
With a view to the "Nord Stream" gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, the Chancellor explained that this is project is a business decision.
The German government is, however, aware of the misgivings of the Baltic states in connection with this project. She continued, that she is "absolutely committed to ensuring European energy security" and that she "will do everything to develop our energy policy on the basis of partnership".
Since the Lithuanian President took office in January 2015, Chancellor Angela Merkel has met with Dalia Grybauskaitė several times – always in a European context.
"Although we have met at 15 European Council meetings since 1 January 2015, bilateral relations between our two countries are so good that we sometimes forget to talk about them," said the Chancellor.
For this reason, she declared, she was very happy to welcome the Lithuanian President on her first state visit to Germany.
In 1991 Germany was one of the first countries to recognise Lithuania as an independent state and to establish diplomatic relations, Angela Merkel continued. "Today, the protection of Lithuania is still important in its region, in particular with regard to Russia."
For this reason Germany is happy to meet the commitments agreed on at the 2014 NATO summit in Wales.
This includes what is known as air policing of the skies above the three Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Angela Merkel praised the "excellent military cooperation between our two countries".
Cooperation is very close in other areas too. The Chancellor cited good cooperation as partners, for instance, in securing the external borders of the Schengen Area, economic relations and various town twinning schemes. All in all, said the Chancellor, the two states enjoy extremely close cooperation. ■