On 4-5 November in Washington D.C., political directors from the Baltic, Nordic, U.S. foreign ministries and experts from academic institutions affirmed their interest in further development of Enhanced Partnership in Northern Europe (e-PINE) initiative. At the meeting, Political Director of Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Eitvydas Bajarūnas invited officials to look for new methods to develop this beneficial dialogue, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
“We have to be creative and to make better use of the involvement of experts, NGOs and academic institutions in this multiple format,” E.Bajarūnas said.
Political directors discussed the expectations of the upcoming summits of NATO member countries and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, shared their thoughts on support for Afghanistan and on cooperation with Russia.
“NATO has to be prepared to apply all means to ensure the security of its member countries, to maintain an “open door” policy, especially with regard to the Bucharest decision on future membership of Georgia and Ukraine,” the Political Director of Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
According to the Political Director, in relations with Russia “we aim at a dialogue and reciprocity, and we encourage Russia to honor the commitments that it has undertaken.”
E.Bajarūnas assured that Lithuania would continue to support the efforts of Afghanistan’s authorities to stabilize the country. “We will continue to contribute to the restoration of Ghor province, and we will encourage an even closer cooperation with all the interested parties and institutions,” the Political Director said.
The closing session of the meeting was organized at the Lithuanian Embassy in Washington D.C. Political directors and NGO representatives discussed the issues of cyber security, region’sl approach to the EU, U.S. and China cooperation.
Lithuanian Ambassador to the United States of America Žygimantas Pavilionis encouraged the format to preserve the role of embassies in such meetings and thanked the U.S.A. and European non-governmental organizations for taking part in this discussion.
E-PINE is a framework for the U.S. cooperation with Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden. Consultations take place regularly two or three times a year at various levels of foreign ministry officials. This meeting was also attended by experts on international relations from the Atlantic Council of the United States, Centre for Strategic and Transatlantic Studies, Vilnius University and the Italian Transatlantic Academy.