On 15-17 August 2001, President Valdas Adamkus of Lithuania paid a working visit to the Kingdom of Sweden where he took part at the symposium of the Stockholm International Water Institute.
On the first day of the visit, the Head of the State of Lithuanian visited water purification companies in Stockholm and got acquainted with their environmental protection programmes as well as Stockholm water ways.
On 16 August, the Lithuanian leader delivered address Water Policy Differences between a Western democracy and a Country in Economic Transition at the symposium of the Stockholm International Water Institute and participated in the awarding ceremony of the Stockholm Water Price.
1050 representatives from 123 states attended this event. President Adamkus was invited to the eleventh symposium of the Institute for his services to environmental protection and particularly for cleaning of the Great Lakes. The President said it had taken more than twenty years to clean these lakes, which can be roughly compared with the Baltic Sea in terms of size and isolation.
The Lithuanian President congratulated this-year Stockholm Water Prize Laureate, Professor Takashi Asano, and thanked for his outstanding contribution to the domain of wastewater reclamation, recycling and reuse.
President Valdas Adamkus of the Republic of Lithuania met with Swedish Minister of Trade, Leif Pagrotsky. The Swedish Trade Minister noted that Sweden had already allocated SEK 1 billion (about LTL 390 million) to various projects in the Baltic states and intended to continue to support them. The President and the Minister agreed that a share of the “second Baltic billion” could be allocated to environmental projects. Minister Pagrotsky underscored that Sweden was looking forward to proposals regarding efficient use of these funds and projects that could be implemented within this framework.
The meeting also focused on Lithuania’s integration into the European Union and further co-operation of the two states. President Adamkus noted that during the Swedish presidency in the EU in the first half of this year, Lithuania finalised and closed eleven negotiation chapters, including the chapter on environment.
Minister Pagrotsky emphasised that environmental protection was playing an increasingly significant role in Sweden’s national and foreign policy. The Minister stated with satisfaction that Lithuania was the first candidate country to finalise negotiations on environmental protection.
The participants of the meeting also discussed co-operation in the energy sector. It was agreed during the discussion to look for ways to promote Swedish investments in Lithuania. At the meeting, ensuring of nuclear safety was referred to as an issue of mutual concern.
President Adamkus and Minister Pagrotsky also discussed co-operation among law enforcement institutions of Lithuania and Sweden as well as closer contacts in combating corruption and organised crime.
The participants of the meeting noted with satisfaction that Sweden was one of the major investors in Lithuania and annual trade turnover between the two states amounted to USD 417 million. The Swedish Trade Minister underscored that modernisation of the financial sector of the Baltic States was one of the priorities of Sweden’s foreign economic policy. The representatives of the two states emphasised the necessity to promote closer co-operation among Lithuanian and Swedish public institutions and non-governmental organisations.
In the afternoon, President Valdas Adamkus of Lithuania and Ms Alma Adamkiene were received by His Majesty King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf and Her Majesty Queen Silvia. At the meeting, they discussed good bilateral Lithuanian-Swedish relations that had developed during the past decade, Euro-Atlantic integration, situation in the Baltic Sea region and issues of environmental protection.
After the reception, the Lithuanian leader attended at the City Hall a 6-hour banquet hosted by the Royal Family. At the City Hall, the President was met by a group of students of Klaipeda Gabija Scholl, who had won the second place in the environmental projects competition organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute.
Press Service of the President