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Petro Poroshenko: We are grateful to Lithuania for supporting the European aspirations of Ukraine
11 December 2017 16:30

"I am grateful to Lithuania and Mrs. Grybauskaitė for their advocacy of the European aspirations of the Ukrainian state and the Ukrainian people," Petro Poroshenko said during a joint press conference with the President of Lithuania. He expressed a conviction that "together with our strategic partner - Lithuania, we can confidently look to the future".

The President of Ukraine said that during the Ukrainian-Lithuanian negotiations "the existing challenges in the field of energy security were discussed". "Lithuania's experience in creating an LNG terminal is very interesting for us. We believe that this is an effective project that ensures the energy independence of not only Lithuania," Petro Poroshenko said, adding that today a number of agreements had been signed to enhance cooperation between the ministries of energy of both countries.

The Head of Ukrainian State separately noted "the long-awaited decision on Ukraine’s accession to the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence". "Once again I emphasize that this is not only a matter of energy, it is a security issue. And when we approach this problem right from this angle - both speed and efficiency are greatly increased," he added.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė emphasizes that this is the tenth meeting with the Head of the Ukrainian State, "which is a new stage in our cooperation".

The parties also discussed the issues of European integration of Ukraine, paying particular attention to the prospects for promoting the "Marshall Plan" or the "European Plan of Reforms for Ukraine" initiated by the Lithuanian side.

"We are very grateful, we really appreciate this initiative. I want to emphasize that this is not just a program of assistance, it is a platform for supporting systemic reforms in Ukraine in various sectors and spheres. Such assistance is timely and definitely important for Ukraine," the President of Ukraine noted.

The parties discussed the issues of social support for Ukrainians who receive employment visas to work in Lithuania. Petro Poroshenko stressed that he touched upon the given issue in other states as well and met the same positive reaction. He said that the Presidents of both countries had given "a joint instruction to government representatives dealing with social protection issues to prepare the relevant agreement as soon as possible and sign it at the forthcoming meeting of the Council of Presidents of Ukraine and Lithuania".

In turn, the President of Lithuania drew attention to the social protection of Ukrainian workers in Lithuania. "We want to prevent a situation where the Ukrainian workers get lower salaries. We will in no way allow Ukrainian workers in Lithuania to be exploited in one way or another. We will do our best to protect Ukrainian workers in our country, "Dalia Grybauskaitė emphasized.

The President of Ukraine also noted that on December 6, 2017, Lithuania celebrated the 10th anniversary of joining the Schengen Area. He expressed hope that Ukraine would also be able to join the Schengen Area. According to him, this is one of our initiatives under the Eastern Partnership Plus program, which includes a number of cooperation projects, in particular Ukraine's joining the EU Energy Community, the Digital Alliance, the Schengen Area and the EU Customs Union. "I am convinced that this will be an extremely ambitious task for us," Petro Poroshenko said.

The President of Ukraine also informed that a significant part of the Ukrainian-Lithuanian negotiations had been devoted to the development of economic cooperation.

"We were pleased to note the 45% growth in trade turnover between our countries over the three quarters of the current year. This is the evidence of the revival of economic activity," Petro Poroshenko said and emphasized the importance of improving the investment climate and the conditions for privatization in Ukraine.

The President thanked the President of Lithuania for the help of her country in the defense sector, namely the provision of 2 million euros to Ukraine, which "is a concrete example of practical assistance", and rehabilitation of wounded Ukrainian servicemen. The President of Ukraine also thanked Lithuania for providing 7 transmitters for the restoration of Ukrainian broadcast along the touch line, which, according to the President, will help counter Russia's hybrid aggression against Ukraine more effectively.

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