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Lithuania and Croatia strengthen their mutual cooperation in defense and energy

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Vilnius, Lithuania – Presidents of Lithuania and Croatia, during their meeting, welcomed on latter Thursday the NATO decision to strengthen its eastern flank and deploy international battalions in the Baltic States and Poland. They also discussed energy related topics.

“Once the new parliament of Croatia is formed, it will be decided how many troops would come here,” said Kilinda Grabar Kitarović, Croatian President at the joint press conference with the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite . At the meeting, the Croatian president also said that Zagreb would join the NATO battalion led by Germany. Grybauskaite spoke of a “pleasant surprise” regarding the announcement of Croatia. Lithuania and Croatia are linked by strong political and economic ties and the two countries held similar positions on key issues of the EU and NATO.

Lithuania was among the first countries to recognize Croatian independence 25 years ago, moreover, it was during the EU Lithuanian Presidency that Croatia became an EU member. In parallel, particular attention during the meeting focused on the strategic energy project implementations. Croatia sees Lithuania, which has an LNG terminal installed in the space of just three years, as “an example of success to ensure national energy security and other supplies,” said the Lithuanian Presidency in a statement.

Following in the footsteps of Lithuania, Croatia plans to build a similar LNG terminal that’s why the Croatian specialists are interested in the experience of Lithuania in this field. Grabar Kitarović at the press conference said “it’s important to link our expertise in infrastructure with a view to achieving a level of energy untouchability where no one could dictate us anything”, claiming her inclinations of the field of energy independence.

During the visit, the Lithuanian minister of energy Rokas Masiulis and his Croatian counterpart Tomislav Panenic signed a memorandum of understanding highlighting the strategic partnership between the two countries in the field of energy. Lithuanian President Grybauskaite also underlined the importance of developing bilateral trade relations in many other areas.