Press Conferences

18. 3. 20089:33

Press Conference after Talks of the PM Mirek Topolánek with the PM of the Lithuanian Republic, Gediminas Kirkilas, Held on 18th March 2008

Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to welcome you to the press conference after talks of delegations of the Czech Republic and the Lithuanian Republic. Allow me to welcome the Prime Minister of the Lithuanian Republic, Mr. Gediminas Kirkilas and the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mr. Mirek Topolánek. I ask the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic for his introductory speech.
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: And I give preference to my colleague.
Gediminas Kirkilas, Prime Minister of Lithuanian Republic: Thank you, dear colleague of mine. I think it was very good meeting. Lithuania and the Czech Republic has very good bilateral relations and we also agreed on the fact that all the problems on the European level are common for us and that they are very close to us, especially when the Bucharest summit of NATO is drawing near. Our interest is to broaden and to develop our bilateral relations. I briefly presented investment opportunities in Lithuania to my colleague. Several Czech companies are already operating in Lithuania, and we are of the opinion that their number should be higher. One of the most important issues is our cooperation in the sphere of energy industry. We spoke about the meeting which has already been held; it concerned the meeting of three Baltic republics with the Visegrad Four, and we of the opinion that this cooperation might continue. We also exchanged our opinions regarding Russia and relations with Russia, the situation in Belarus and the Ukraine, and we discussed also the other issues of our interests.
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: Dear Prime Minister, I think that both Lithuania and the Czech Republic are members of the European family nowadays, and we are also members of NATO and we fulfil tasks in the framework of various missions. I am pleased that relations between European countries and thus also between Lithuania and the Czech Republic and between their Prime Ministers are so unaffected that as early as now I can say that we will be seeing each other eight times in this year, at least. We saw each other in Brussels last week, now we have talks in Prague, next month we will be in Bucharest, in May we will meet in Prague again at the Nuclear Forum, then very probably in Vilnius and then at three sessions of the European Council. I want to say that so frequent meetings are advantageous because we are able to solve in detail any problem, to prepare common positions, to seek advantageous positions both for Lithuania and for the Czech Republic. Our common interests are the issue of energy security, diversification of energy supplies, the eastern dimension of the European policy, reconciliation with crimes of the communism, and number of other issues which have been discussed today. I would like to wish the entire Lithuanian delegation to spend nice days in Prague to feel at home here, so that we could make agreements on number of issues useful for our citizens.
Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: I thank the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and the Prime Minister of the Lithuanian Republic, and now I ask for your questions.
Jeroným Janíček, AP: May I ask the Prime Minister of Lithuania to express his opinion on the efforts of the USA to build anti-missile bases in the territory of the Czech Republic and Poland? Thank you.
Gediminas Kirkilas, Prime Minister of Lithuanian Republic: Lithuania supports the efforts of the Czech Republic and Poland to have a defence system. It will be very useful for Europe. And what is important – I think that this system will strengthen Transatlantic Alliance, and it is an important matter. This system is not against any other country, it is a defence system and it will strengthen the security of Europe and member states of NATO.
Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you. The DPA.
Kateřina Zachovalová, DPA: I would like to ask a question the Lithuanian Prime Minister. You will negotiate or maybe you are already negotiating on prolongation of life of your nuclear power station. I would like to ask what your plan is like in case negotiations fail.
Gediminas Kirkilas, Prime Minister of Lithuanian Republic: We are holding consultations with the European Commission now. Consultations have been holding for a long time; they are on different matters, but they are being held. The agreement on closure of the power station was concluded at the time, when prices of electric energy were different from the present prices. We undertook to close both blocks. One of them has already been closed; the second one is to be closed by the end of 2009. But there are certain clauses in the agreement on the aid of the European Union in case of some energy problems occur in Lithuania. And as we know, we are facing problems; you certainly know that the pipeline is not functional yet, and at the same time Lithuania, Poland and Latvia plan construction of a new nuclear power station. There will be five-year or six-year gap, and we have a plan how to fill it. In case we are forced to close the existing power station by 2009, we would have to produce energy using gas. Concurrently, we plan to construct connection with Poland through bridges. After long discussions and negotiations we concluded an agreement on this and we would be able to be connected through that energy bridge. The Czech Republic is already connected and therefore, we are interested in its experience. We are also planning that the cable will lead through the Baltic Sea to Sweden and thus we would be connected with Scandinavian states. At present the Baltic states have only one connection, and it is unfortunately very limited, just 400MW, which is not sufficient.
Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you. Are there any further questions? Well, thank you for your attention and good-bye.