of the Joint Council
of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania
Vilnius, 17 June 2010
First session of the Joint Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania was held on 17 June 2010 in Vilnius, to discuss the issues of mutual interest.
The new bilateral format demonstrates that The Parties are committed to further continuation and strengthening of strategic partnership.
The first session was co-chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kostyantyn GRYSHCHENKO and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania Audronius AŽUBALIS.
The Joint Council agreed:
On European integration issues:
The Republic of Lithuania consistently and strongly supports the accomplishment of Ukraine’s European integration goals, including accession to the European Union, and the achievement of the current priorities in Ukraine-EU dialogue, such as conclusion of an Association Agreement, establishing deep and comprehensive free trade area, and introduction of a visa-free regime.
The Parties are interested in the efficient and systematic functioning of the Ukrainian- Lithuanian Standing commission on European integration.
Ukraine and the Republic of Lithuania will develop a list of areas, in line with the EU Reform Priorities Matrix, where the Lithuanian expert assistance would be most effective. Ukraine will welcome Lithuanian contribution to implementation of Ukraine – EU Comprehensive Institution Building Programme.
Ukraine and the Republic of Lithuania will cooperate in the framework of the EU Eastern Partnership, implementing concrete bilateral and multilateral projects, including the trilateral Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Belarusian initiatives in the spheres of energy, transport, environment, customs and culture.
On topical issues of bilateral relations:
The Parties are satisfied with the development of strategic partnership between Ukraine and Lithuania and are interested in continuing an active political dialogue. In this context, bilateral visits of President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych to Lithuania and of the Speaker of the Seimas of Republic of Lithuania Irena Dеgutienė to Ukraine will be arranged before the end of 2010.
The Joint Council reviewed the implementation of the Roadmap for Development of the Strategic Partnership between Ukraine and the Republic of Lithuania for 2009-2010 and discussed preparation of the new Roadmap for the next two-year period, which would reflect current topical objectives of cooperation. The new document could be signed by the Heads of States during the visit of the President of Ukraine to Lithuania.
The Joint Council is interested in further deepening of cooperation at the level of Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both countries. The Parties will ensure implementation of the Plan of consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania for 2010 -2011.
Both Ministries will explore the possibility to cooperate with respective academic institutions in order to create the possibilities to exchange courses or seminars for young diplomats on foreign and security policy issues related to the region.
The Parties noted with satisfaction that the bilateral Agreement on Consular Tariffs, providing for the free-of-charge long-term national visas, has entered into force.
Experts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania are ready to provide expert assistance to experts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on border demarcation.
On trade and economic cooperation:
Ukraine and the Republic of Lithuania are interested in the increase of the volume of bilateral trade and economic cooperation. The Parties will undertake joint efforts and measures to improve conditions for trade and investment, and will avoid protectionist measures. A mechanism to improve dialogue between Ukrainian and Lithuanian businesses will be launched.
The Inter-Governmental Commission on Economic, Scientific and Technical cooperation remains the key mechanism in enhancing cooperation in trade and economic spheres.
Ukraine and Lithuania will expand cooperation on important regional strategic infrastructure transport and energy projects. Ukraine and Lithuania will further promote secure energy supplies and transparency in the energy sector, as well as integration into the European energy market and joint participation in energy projects. The Parties will continue to pursue the project of electricity supply from Ukraine via Belarus to Lithuanian market.
The expansion of container train “Viking” to the wider Baltic and Black sea region (with particular focus on Turkey), seeking to attract and accumulate additional cargo flows in the post-crisis period, is the main priority in the sphere of transport cooperation.
The Parties recognize the importance of Ukrainian-Lithuanian interregional cooperation and will encourage conclusion of new agreements between regional administrations of different levels.
On international and regional security cooperation:
The Republic of Lithuania respects Ukraine’s sovereign choice regarding foreign policy priorities and security guarantees.
The Parties will cooperate in the field of security and defence policy, including participation in international missions and further development of Ukraine – NATO partnership. Lithuania appreciates Ukraine‘s active engagement in all NATO-led operations and will support further participation of Ukrainian elements in the PRT in Ghowr Province of Afghanistan.
The Republic of Lithuania will assist Ukraine in the ANP implementation, support the activity of the Scientific-Information Centre for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation in Odessa, and continue the practice of arranging visits for Ukrainian journalists to Lithuania.
The Parties agree to jointly work during the Lithuanian Chairmanship of OSCE in 2011 and to promote stability and security in the whole region, support confidence building measures, with a particular focus on the resumption of formal meetings in the 5+2 format negotiations on the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, and with respect to Moldova’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Republic of Lithuania supports the Ukrainian Chairmanship of OSCE.
The Joint Council decided that the new format is a useful tool for the review of bilateral cooperation and agreed to arrange the meetings of the Council once a year. Next meeting will be held in 2011 in Ukraine.