New Lithuanian president reaffirms close ties with Latvia

Lithuania’s new President Gitanas Nauseda made a working visit to Riga on Tuesday to reaffirm good neighborly relations with Latvia and meet with top Latvian officials, local media reported.

The agenda of the Lithuanian president’s visit included meetings with Latvian President Egils Levits, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins and parliament speaker Inara Murniece.

Nauseda’s talks with the Latvian officials focused on a broad range of issues, with both sides asserting the commitment to strengthening bilateral ties.

Speaking at the two presidents’ joint news conference which followed talks in Riga Castle, President Levits described ties between Latvia and Lithuania as a role model of good neighborly relations between friendly states with related languages and cultures.

The Latvian president praised good defense cooperation with Lithuania, saying that it will be continued and strengthened even further. He also stressed the necessity to advance the Rail Baltica railroad project, the Baltic power grids’ synchronization with the European network and development of the regional gas market.

President Levits also noted Latvia’s good will to settle a maritime border dispute with Lithuania.

“The issue has become protracted, and this is also an issue of international law. But I can assure that there is good will on Latvia’s part,” Levits said, adding that the issue could be resolved in the medium term or even sooner.

President Nauseda agreed that the ratification of the maritime border treaty between the two countries had been stalling but was optimistic about settling the disagreements over the off-shore shelf in the Baltic Sea in a civilized way.