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On 12 December at the Embassy of Poland in Vilnius, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis acquainted EU member state ambassadors to Lithuania with priorities of the foreign policy for 2012 and with the most important events of the Lithuanian foreign policy in 2011.

A.Ažubalis stressed that also next year Lithuania would give most attention to energy and economic security, active engagement in the activities of the EU, NATO and other international organizations, promotion of closer ties with the Lithuanian diaspora and the strengthening of foreign policy values.

The meeting discussed Lithuania’s policy towards the European Union and the euro zone’s crisis. The Minister stressed Lithuania’s major interests in the negotiations on the new EU financial perspectives with regard to the cohesion policy and agricultural policy. The Minister particularly stressed the need to adequately finance the closure of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant.

The Minister also stressed the necessity to have a unified position in international forums on the development of unsafe nuclear energy projects in the EU’s neighbourhood.

The participants of the meeting were acquainted with results of the 18th OSCE Ministerial Council in Vilnius.

This year, Lithuania’s Chairmanship of the OSCE continued making efforts to create a free and democratic Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security community. Relevant decisions were made to strengthen the OSCE conflict prevention capacities, to implement new support projects in Afghanistan and to intensify cooperation with the organization’s Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation.

Lithuania is to take over the coordination of the activities of the Nordic Baltic Eight (NB8) next year; therefore, A.Ažubalis acquainted EU ambassadors with priorities of coordination of NB8 activities: the strengthening of the partnership with the Nordic Council of Ministers, development of digital marketing and joint economic representation, and the development of simple framework of common information space.

The Minister also presented Lithuania’s preparation to hold the Presidency of the Council of European Union. Lithuania will hold the Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2013.

Poland holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU from 1 July to 31 December 2011.