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Wednesday, 10 October 2007

The President of the Republic of Poland Visits Vilnius

On 10th October 2007, the President of the Republic of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, flew off to Vilnius to take part in a conference on energy security, entitled “Responsible Energy for Responsible Partners”.

On Wednesday, the President joined in the first session of the round-table discussion on “New Routes of Energy Deliveries – Follow-up of the Kraków Energy Conference”. The signing of an agreement on cooperation in the energy sector, with the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Economy, Piotr Naimski, signing for Poland, followed the first round-table.

Later the same day, President Lech Kaczyński took part in a working dinner hosted by the President of the Republic of Lithuania, Valdas Adamkus in honour of the Presidents participating in the energy conference.

On the second day of his visit, President Lech Kaczyński joined in the second session of the round-table talks, headlined “Enlargement of the European Cooperation in Energy by the Caspian and Black Sea Region – Towards a Broader Energy Market” and, finally, in the third conference round on “Global Threats to the Energy Security and the UE External Energy Policy”.

After the conclusion of the conference, the Presidents of Poland and Lithuania held a joint press conference, during which the President of the Republic of Poland said:

” First of all, I wish to thank Mister President and the government of the Republic of Lithuania, because – even though we co-hosted the conference – Mister President and the government of the Republic of Lithuania bore the brunt of the effort. Everything here went extraordinarily well. Let me emphasise that what happened here yesterday, the signing of two agreements, marks a very big success, also given the fact that this success had not been foretold for us. I underscore, as broadly described by President Aliyev, that Azerbaijan’s currently available resources enable the implementation of the idea associated with the Odessa-Gdańsk pipeline project. In addition, Kazakhstan, as broadly explained by the Kazakh energy minister, is considering the possibility to use also the Baltic Sea basin and the region’s states as the customers for its exports of crude oil and gas. Please, also note those elements of President Aliyev’s statement, which placed emphasis on not only crude oil, but also gas. Thus, there is a prospect for expanding the cooperation that we have just started.

There is one more aspect, about which I, too, had some doubts, but I now admit that Mister President has been right. Attending the conference were numerous states – there were six of the EU’s biggest countries, though I usually do not reckon countries by size. There was Portugal and there was a representative of the European Commission. Present was a country as important in energy resources as Norway and an EU country as environmentally aware as Sweden and, of course, a delegate from the United States. Naturally, given all that, the conference was a forum for ideas, but this exchange was unusually inspiring and represented a prelude to follow-on measures and the extension of what can be most broadly called the energy solidarity”.

” Thus, we can here speak of a success yesterday as shared by both of our countries, and a success linked to the fact that Poland and Lithuania play an essential role in the circulation of ideas that translate into tangible solutions. Let us cherish the hope that also on a broader platform of the conference such tangible projects will arise. To pre-empt your questions, there is another issue. Although I am not pleased with a certain newspaper story published today – perhaps forgetting to allow for things that may occur among friends – I would like you to rest assured that in a very short time, shorter than months, in a matter of days, our mutual agreement on the electric power bridge will be signed. This issue is quite separate from the conference, but we know that it has been raised. There is no problem with that accord as such, there are only some technicalities still to be sorted out. That is all I have to say in this matter. Thank you very much”.

In the afternoon of that day, the President of Poland and Lithuania attended the ceremony of opening a new residence of the Polish Embassy in Vilnius. On that occasion, President Kaczyński made the following address:

” I am not hiding my tremendous satisfaction. The Polish embassy finally has a residence corresponding with the status of our relations. It is in one of the historic palaces of this magnificent city. It is where it should be. While in Paris two or three days ago, I went to the Polish embassy, which is housed in a beautiful palace. I then thought to myself: How is it possible for the Polish embassy in Paris to reside in such a fine palace, while the Polish embassy in Vilnius does not yet, although our relations, besides our friendship with France, are, nevertheless, of entirely different nature? Well, it has finally happened, which makes me very pleased. Indeed, I endeavoured to make this happen and so did my wife. She exerted a strong influence on me - informally, of course, because a President’s wife represents no office. Finally, we have an embassy residence matching our relations – of yesterday, even more so of today and, I hope, still more so of tomorrow.

”I profoundly believe in the Polish-Lithuanian friendship and our joint undertaking. What happened yesterday in the form of signing a certain agreement, which many had believed unfeasible, is the fruit of our joint efforts, after all. What happened today in the form of a meeting of well over twenty states also has its context in our joint efforts, although Mister President had directly initiated it. I am referring to this as an exemplification of how much can be accomplished by two befriended states, both members of the EU and NATO, and both sharing so many historical bonds ramifying to the north, north-east and also south-east. They can accomplish so much, even if, with a combined population of 40-plus million, they are not Europe’s most developed. However, both have the will and a strong historical relation, and a well-defined plan to carry through. This is why their efforts lead to a success. I hope that there will be more such joint successes. I must admit: the fact that Poland has asked Lithuania to share in this undertaking is one of the best ideas that we have come up with in the recent years. I am looking forward to more of such joint ideas.

”In conclusion, in reaffirming my satisfaction with having our embassy’s residence here, in this palace – the residence originating with one of the great Lithuanian family lines – I wish to thank Mister President for his good will, which has done so much for our relations, and also for the fact that the prestige that Mister President enjoys across Europe and in the United States has helped us together so much. I thank you very much and I congratulate you on your President”.
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