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Lithuania 's President on relations with Russia and Europe

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Lithuania 's President on relations with Russia and Europe

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With relations between Lithuania and Russia fragile, the Baltic state is hinting that it could join Poland in blocking talks on a new EU-Russia Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA). The Poles are upset about an embargo on their meat by the Russians, while Lithuania says Moscow is pressuring it by cutting off oil

Ahead of next week’s EU summit, where energy will be a major topic, EuroNews spoke to Lithuania ‘s President Valdas Adamkus.

Sergio Cantone, Brussels Correspondent, EuroNews:
When it comes to Poland and the embargo, the Russian embargo on Polish meat, do you think that it’s more important for the EU to lift this embargo first or to sign the PCA agreement: the partnership agreement with Russia?

Valdas Adamkus, Lithuanian President:
I believe that the only way is to find a resolution, maybe even a compromise, but not to actually create a confrontation. So, my greatest wish is that Poland would not actually have to take the extreme path. I mean using the veto and at the same time more or less putting the future of the European Union existence as such cooperation with Russia at risk, but Russia at the same time should find and show goodwill, that they cannot pressure even individual EU states, and find a resolution which is acceptable to all of us.

EuroNews:
Yes, but from this point of view aren’t you afraid that the next EU summit will turn into a sort of showdown among countries in the EU who are in favour of closer relations with Russia and countries that are still afraid of Russia’s political use of energy?

Adamkus:
I don’t believe that there’s going to be a split on that issue. EU made up its mind to speak in one voice and if you are placing that issue or the question that way, I would say, this is going to be a good test how much we are committed to speak as a European Union or we are going to change our situation over each individual tension or controversial issue.

EuroNews:
Do you feel frightened by Russia and its political use of energy?

Adamkus:
The Russians with their Druzhba line they have their own interests and no secret to anybody that they are using it, to some extent, (to apply) political pressures to Lithuania, we understand this, but that does not actually come to the confrontational situation, I believe that they are going to one day resolve this, because alternative sources are available and considering that this will be the answer for our needs.

EuroNews:
What is the political meaning of the construction of a new reactor in Ignalina?

Adamkus:
Every country is looking for independence of energy and since atomic energy, the nuclear agency is the energy of the future we want to be among the first ones to provide that kind of energy not only for the development of our own country, but at the same time share and sell that energy to our neighbours. So this energy, which we are trying to establish in Lithuania, will be serving the regional needs and I would say that this is complementary to what we are using right now.

EuroNews:
What is the solution, according to you, to the dispute related to the construction of the gas-pipeline of the Baltic Sea?

Adamkus:
There will be always some differences and there are some different interests as far as energy sources are concerned. I hope that we can resolve this with mutual understanding and cooperation. At the same time we are building our own independent source of energy and that’s the nuclear power.

EuroNews:
What do you think about the creation of this missile shield, do you think that it is going to improve the security of the region?

Adamkus:
I don5;t believe that the region is being threatened at the present time; definitely any escalation of arms is going to create tension whatever part of the world. And I hope that the establishment for one reason or another of the nuclear weapons around this region is not going to threaten immediate surroundings, like Lithuania, the Baltic States or Scandinavia and others and hopefully this is not going to increase the tensions. That maybe in some way it is going to provide more understanding, and that will be connected with a security issue. So let’s look at this, not from the negative point of view, but from the positive.