Petras Vaida, BC, Vilnius,
On September 8, in Minsk, Lithuanian, Belarusian and Ukrainian Foreign Ministers discussed in detail the issues of cooperation within the framework of the EU Eastern Partnership Initiative, reported BC the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ministers Audronius Azubalis, Sergei Martynov and Kostyantyn Gryshchenko agreed to better coordinate the activities of experts and institutions when preparing and submitting to the European Commission the joint projects in the fields of integrated border management, energy, transport and preservation of cultural heritage.
The ministers discussed the preparation for the Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers' meeting that would be held in the end of 2010 and for the Eastern Partnership Initiative Summit, which is scheduled for 2011. The next meeting of Lithuanian, Belarusian and Ukrainian foreign ministers will take place in Vilnius.
Today, a bilateral meeting of Lithuanian and Belarusian foreign ministers was also held in Minsk. During the meeting, Minister Azubalis expressed concern about the high-voltage electricity transmission line from Russia to Belarus, which is still not functioning since January, and which may affect the Lithuanian energy system. Minister Martynov promised to address this issue at an early date.
Head of Lithuania's diplomacy stressed that the plan by Belarus to construct a nuclear power plant in Ostrovets district, at the border with Lithuania and merely 53 km from Vilnius, was a matter of great concern to Lithuania.
Minister Azubalis and his Belarusian counterpart agreed that the issue of the facilitation of travels for the residents of border areas had to be solved in the nearest future.
The programme of the Minister's visit in Minsk also included a meeting with representatives of the Belarusian civil society and the opposition, as well as a visit to the National Museum of Culture and History of Belarus to see the exhibition dedicated to the Battle of Zalgiris.