Foreign Minister Heiko Maas travelled to Lithuania on Friday (11 May). Maas met the Foreign Ministers of the three Baltic states in the coastal town of Palanga. Their talks focused on the future of the European Union and security policy. “It is important, especially in turbulent times, for us as partners to show each other that we can rely on one another,” said Maas in Lithuania.
Solidarity as a guiding principle
Germany and the Baltic states enjoy a close partnership. A guiding principle behind this is solidarity when it comes to the security needs of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Germany has, for instance, stationed troops in the region within the framework of what is known as NATO’s forward presence. It is also involved in joint surveillance of the air space over the Baltic states. At the same time, Germany is committed to ensuring that the Alliance continues to pursue its dual-track approach to Russia. This approach consists of solidarity and strengthening defence capability on the one hand and credible offers for dialogue and transparency vis à vis Russia on the other.
Voices for a strong Europe
Germany and the Baltic states are committed to common goals in many areas of European policy. “Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are important voices for a strong Europe,” said Maas on Friday. In the efforts to continue to develop the European Union, Germany is committed to greater investment in education and research, as well as in protecting the EU’s external borders. It is also committed to promoting a stronger common foreign and security policy.