04/08/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/07/2021 23:54
Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė has met with Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain Arancha González Laya to discuss the pandemic management and the development of bilateral relations.
'We are doing our utmost to stop the spread of the pandemic and to speed up the supply of vaccines. The joint procurement path chosen by the European Union has been the right one, and the agreements must be adhered to,' said the Lithuanian Prime Minister.
It has been emphasised that stockpiling of unused vaccines should be avoided, and that an opportunity should be provided to borrow vaccines for Member States that are able to vaccinate faster. Lithuania applies similar system between municipalities within the country.
On the digital green certificate, it has been noted that only certificates for vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency should be recognised. Public trust in vaccination needs to be built, communication coordinated, and EMA's recommendations followed to avoid unilateral decisions.
According to Prime Minister Šimonytė, Spain is an important friend and partner of Lithuania. Lithuania highly appreciates Spain's contribution to the security of the Baltic states. The country is grateful to Spain and its consulate in Caracas for helping to relocate twenty-six people of Lithuanian descent from Venezuela.
Prime Minister Šimonytė and Minister González Laya have agreed that problems of the southern and eastern Member States of the European Union should not be singled out. Rather, they are relevant to the entire community and need to be addressed in joint capabilities, be it migration challenges facing Spain or the Eastern Partnership issues addressed by Lithuania.
It has been underlined that Lithuania is holding active counsel with the European Commission on the implementation of the recommended reforms (CSR). The toughest challenge is a higher value economy and the Green Deal commitments. Energy efficiency (renovation), digitisation, education, science, and innovation are the top priorities. The Prime Minister and the Spanish Foreign Minister have agreed on the importance of promoting economic cooperation between Spain and Lithuania. One such area could be joint projects promoting renewable energy.
With regard to security, it has been emphasised that Lithuania is grateful for Spain's significant contribution to ensuring the security of NATO's Eastern Flank. The 8th NATO's Baltic Air Policing Mission of the Spanish Air Force is expected shortly.