German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with President Gitanas Nauseda on the need to ensure that Belarus’ Astravyets nuclear power plant complies with international security standards. Nauseda, who was inaugurated on Jul 12, continued Lithuanian policy line of drawing attention and airing concern over the Belarusian power plans, which is being built just 50km from Vilnius. According to him, its place was picked on the basis of geopolitical considerations rather than economic ones. He also aired intentions to continue urging other EU member states to help Lithuania on the issue.
Merkel also agreed with Nauseda that Ukraine’s interest should be respected in the building of building Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Unsurprisingly, Nauseda voiced skepticism over the project, which will transport gas through the Baltic Sea bottom, bypassing Ukraine, Poland and the three Baltic countries. He noted the pipeline involves certain risks and is a blow to EU’s efforts for energy diversification.
Nauseda also discussed defense issues with the German chancellor. On the eve of his meeting, he called Germany “Lithuania’s key defense, security and defense partner in Europe” and pledged to strengthen the ties between the two states. To note, Germany is the lead nation in NATO’s multinational battalion in Lithuania which deployed 550 soldiers in the country. Moreover, Vilnius signed deal for purchasing 88 IFVs, 18 Howitzers and over 300 trucks from Germany for nearly EUR500m in total.