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THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

26 April 2017
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Lithuania’s best future
lies in a Nordic union

“Russia can turn the lights out on Lithuania and the other two Baltic states any time it pleases. And they can't turn them back on without Russia’s permission. Not only does this small, central European nation, as well as its neighbors Latvia and Estonia, not have access to the Russian owned-switch, but, to a large extent, it also depends on energy supplies from Russia to power its electricity generating plants; power that is needed for energy and economic independence.  Lithuania as well as the other Baltic countries, being poor in energy resources, are facing a tough future and are seeking solutions.”

This was what Dr. Stan Backaitis wrote here in VilNews in 2011. We have also published articles stating that Lithuania’s dependence on Russia, to a certain degree also EU, should be reduced. We have stated that the neighbours to the north in many cases would be much more attractive partners.

Lithuania has powerful Nordic neighbours, all with AAA credit rating.. These countries, however, are successful in many different ways, not least with regard to social welfare, health care, education, rule of law, transparency, press freedom and a very good balance between government, business, education, science, and more.
What the three Baltic States now face is that being members of the EU is not enough. The economic crisis, and partly also questions on defence and security, have led to new forms of cooperation, and our small nations far north in Europe are not always invited to become active participants.

It is therefore my opinion that a tight collaboration with the other Nordic countries is the way to go. Together we are large enough to be heard and our common identity and cultural background is a good basis for cooperation.

In the 13th century, an alliance of Northern European towns called the Hanseatic League created what historian Fernand Braudel called a “common civilization created by trading.” Today’s expanded list of Hansa states share Germanic and Scandinavian cultural roots. Germany and the Scandinavian countries have found their niches by selling high-value goods to developed nations, as well as to burgeoning markets in Russia, China, and India.

Widely admired for their generous welfare systems, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Germany have liberalized their economies in recent years. They account for six of the top eight countries on the Legatum Prosperity Index and boast some of the world’s highest savings rates (25 percent or more), as well as impressive levels of employment, education, and technological innovation.

“In strategies that we are developing for the next twenty years emphasize that it is important for the Baltic States to become more harmonized and catch up with Scandinavian countries. Integration with Nordic countries is an important objective,” said Andrius Kubilius, Lithuania’s former prime minister, in a meeting in Tallinn last year.

I think he is right.

Aage Myhre, Editor-in-Chief

Category : Business, economy, investments

  • […] 20th April, 2013 – Posted by admin Lithuania’s best future lies in a Nordic union “Russia can turn the lights out on Lithuania and the other two Baltic states any time it […]

    April 20 2013
    CommentsLike
    • Rimantas Aukstuolis

      Aage
      Bravo! I heartily agree. In pondering the often sad history of Lithuania I seem to always come to the conclusion that a small country like Lithuania needs to come to some close relationship with some combination of neighbors in order to gain long term stability and security. The Grand Duchy was probably the best example. Today, association with NATO and the EU has gone far to secure a degree of that security and prosperity but with the various issues in Europe and even questionable engagement of the US, something deeper must be developed. Scandinavia seems to be, and in fact has evolved as a strengthening partner and role model which I think many Lithuanians probably accept. Not to take away from other efforts and positive, even close, relations with other neighbors (Poland, even Russia), closeness with Scandinavia and emulation of its institutions would serve Lithuania well.
      Rimantas Aukstuolis

      February 02 2013
      CommentsLike



      

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