On 23 January, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius paid a working visit to Sweden. The Minister met with Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt to discuss the agenda of the European Union, the Nordic-Baltic cooperation and the EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative.
The Swedish Minister voiced support to the priorities of Lithuania’s Presidency of the Council of the EU for achieving financial stability and economic growth, strengthening the energy market framework and the Eastern Partnership. In 2013, Sweden is coordinating the joint activities of the Nordic Baltic Eight (NB8), focusing on energy and Eastern Partnership. The Ministers also spoke about internet freedom and digital information security.
The discussion of the Minister and the Swedish Minister for EU Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson centred on issues including the work ahead of Lithuania’s EU Presidency and the EU multiannual financial framework (MFF) negotiations.
The Minister participated in the working breakfast with members of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Defence Committee on of the Swedish Parliament. The officials discussed prospects for the Nordic-Baltic cooperation, as well as the Eastern Partnership. They also explored the initiative to establish a Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with the Baltic States in the Swedish Parliament. The Minister presented the 2013-2014 work plan of the Lithuanian Embassy in Sweden, as it assumed the role of NATO Contact Point Embassy.
During the visit, the Minister also met with the Swedish Minister for Defence Karin Enström to discuss regional and bilateral security issues. Lithuania and the other EU member states are invited to join the EU`s Nordic Battle Group. The Ministers agreed to enhance the Nordic-Baltic cooperation in the field of security. Linkevičius also informed the Swedish Minister about the Lithuania-based NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence and invited Sweden to contribute to the activities of the centre.