Interview of Trend with the Lithuanian Foreign Minister,
Question: How do you estimate the current bilateral relationship between Azerbaijan and Lithuania? In what spheres would Lithuania like to develop relationship with Azerbaijan?
Answer: Lithuanian-Azerbaijan relations are friendly, based on sympathy from the past and on the common future goals to live in prosperous and safe Europe.
Still these relations could be more intensive especially in the economical sphere. We receive signals from our businessmen about their interest in developing trade relations with Azerbaijan and I hope that the forthcoming visit of our President Valdas Adamkus to Baku this April will serve as an impulse for the enhancement of such cooperation.
The potential development of transit infrastructure of energy resources between Europe and South Caucasus region might provide important opportunities for the cooperation in the energy sector.
I also see open possibilities for fostering our cultural relations, renewing people-to-people contacts, encouraging flows of tourists between Lithuania and Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan declares its orientation to the European and Euro-Atlantic structures. Lithuanias integration experience is still fresh and we are ready to share it upon the interest of your country. Having gained a lot from the regional cooperation in this regard, we suggest basing such a sharing of experience on a regional level this is the core of 3+3 initiative (cooperation between three Baltic and three South Caucasus countries), implementation of which depends on common efforts.
Question: What major issues will be discussed during the forthcoming visit of Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus to Baku? Has the date of the visit been defined?
Answer: I think the agenda of the visit of Lithuanian President, which is planned for April, should reflect all major issues of common interest bilateral cooperation and possibilities to develop it in particular fields, the EU and NATO integration, energy security. Regional issues and cooperation of Baltic-Black-Caspian sea regions should be very important subject of discussions. Azerbaijans participation on the highest level is expected in the forthcoming conference Common Vision for Common Neighbourhood in Vilnius where we will discuss the future of our region.
The exact dates of the visit are agreed and will be announced in the short run.
Question: Lithuania plans to open embassy in Azerbaijan. What work will be done in this direction?
Answer: I see that rumours spread fast in South Caucasus. Indeed, we are considering the enhancement of our diplomatic representation in the region. At the moment we are assessing the possibilities to open an embassy in Baku and I hope that we will have concrete results as soon as possible. We also hope that the embassy of Azerbaijan will be opened in Vilnius.
Question: What assistance might Lithuania render as the member of the NATO to Azerbaijans integration into Euro-Atlantic alliance?
Answer: Lithuania welcomes Azerbaijans Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Speaking more practically, we stand ready to share with you all the lessons learned in our way to NATO.
Lithuania and Azerbaijan already have good traditions of cooperation we have been cooperating bilaterally for several years in various fields of defence. Our experience in restructuring security and defense sectors, establishing legal basis and setting coordination mechanisms for the Euro-Atlantic integration might be of particular interest for your country in current implementation of Azerbaijan-NATO IPAP (Individual Partnership Action Plan).
Question: Does Lithuania support the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan? Does the country plan to come out with any initiative on resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
Answer: Lithuania has also experienced complicated historical situations in relations with the neighbouring countries. Since the independence our aims are not forgetting the past, working for the future and strengthening friendly cooperation with neighbours. These are the inevitable preconditions of the wealth of the whole region.
Therefore, being confident that the territorial integrity of each country should be respected, we stand for resolution of any related disputes only in a peaceful manner. We truly hope that such a peaceful breakthrough will be reached in your region in the shortest run.