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Importance of EU energy and economic cooperation underlined by the Presidents of Lithuanian and Bulgaria

Monday, March 16, Vilnius - President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus met with President Georgi Parvanov of Bulgaria who arrived in Lithuania on a state visit.

Following the official welcoming ceremony for the President of Bulgaria, the Heads of States exchanged decorations and gifts.


President Adamkus decorated Bulgaria's President Parvanov with the Order of Vytautas the Great with the Golden Collar, for his personal initiative in developing Lithuania-Bulgarian intergovernmental relations and enhancing political, cultural and people-to-people cooperation between the two countries.


Bulgaria's President Georgi Parvanov decorated Mr. Adamkus with the Order of Stara Planina, for his personal contribution to promoting and strengthening Bulgarian-Lithuanian intergovernmental relations.


President Adamkus made his Bulgarian counterpart a gift of the painting "St. Ann's Church" by Gediminas Pranckūnas. Mr. Parvanov made President Adamkus a gift of a copy of the Panagyurishte Golden Treasure (the treasure was found in Bulgaria in the III century B. C.) and collector wine.


In the meeting, the Lithuanian and Bulgarian Presidents discussed bilateral relations in trade, energy, culture, and other fields. The President also talked about the relations of the two countries and the European Union with Russia, the enlargement of the European Union, and the Eastern Neighbourhood Policy.


Talking about the economic situation of the countries, Mr. Adamkus underlined Bulgaria was a very important destination for Lithuanian business community. According to the President, trade between the two countries has been successfully developing recently, and Lithuanian businesses are willingly investing in Bulgaria. Bulgaria ranks the 6th on Lithuania's FDI list. The discussions in the meeting also concerned the infrastructural projects carried out in Bulgaria, co-financed by the European Union. President Adamkus expressed confidence Lithuania's specialists could participate successfully in these projects.


Mr. Adamkus and Mr. Parvanov also discussed the European Union's policy. The two Presidents expressed hope that the interests of Member States will be taken into account in addressing economic and energy issues of the common importance and the best possible solutions will be found. "We must be actively involved in formulating the new energy policy in Europe since the situation might cause much damage to all Member States," Mr. Parvanov said.


Bulgaria's President also underlined that both countries had vast experience in the field of nuclear energy as they both faced the issue of closing old reactors and constructing new ones. The Presidents agreed to continue cooperation and exchange experts in this field.


The Presidents also talked about the EU enlargement and shared the view that the door to the EU must remain open to candidate countries and that possibilities of integration on an equal footing must be ensured. Mr. Adamkus underlined that eastern neighbours of the EU must be given a possibility to develop their economic and cultural relations with the EU Member States.


The Leaders of States exchanged views on the election of the new UNESCO Director General. The Presidents expressed hope Lithuania and Bulgaria would manage to find the best solution concerning the election of the UNESCO leader.


President Adamkus underlined the need to develop academic and cultural relations between the states in addition to economic cooperation and cooperation in the field of energy. "Lithuania and Bulgaria are united by a strong bond from the past, the bright memory of Dr. Jonas Basanavičius".


The bilateral meeting between the Presidents of Lithuania and Bulgaria and the delegations headed by them was followed by a signature ceremony of the Agreement on Co-operation in the Field of Tourism between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Protocol of Co-operation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.


The two Presidents will give a joint press conference, following which President Parvanov of Bulgaria will go to the Antakalnis Cemetery to honour the memory and lay a wreath at the memorial to those killed in the struggle for Lithuania's independence.


Later in the day, Bulgaria's President will have lunch with Lithuania's Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, following which Mr. Parvanov will go to the Rasos Cemetery to lay a wreath at the grave of Lithuania's and Bulgaria's citizen Dr. Jonas Basanavičius.


After a tour in Vilnius Old Town, a state dinner will be hosted in the Presidential Palace in the honour of the Bulgarian President.


Tuesday, March 17, President Georgi Parvanov will have a meeting with Mr. Arūnas Valinskas, Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania. After the meeting, President Parvanov will go to Kaunas to meet with Mayor Andrius Kupčinskas and to visit the Historical Presidential Palace in Kaunas and the Pažaislis Monastery.
Back in Vilnius, Bulgaria's President Parvanov will host a reception to be attended by the President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus.



On the third day of the visit, Bulgaria's President will visit the Lavoriškės Frontier Station to see how the external border of the European Union and the Schengen area is protected. Later Mr. Parvanov will visit the Gediminas Castle Tower and the Lithuanian National Museum.


Bulgaria's President leaves Vilnius Wednesday afternoon.



Press Service of the President



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