Vilnius, September 13, BNS–Lithuanian parliamentary speaker Viktoras Pranckietis met Israeli Knesset speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein Wednesday and discussed the need for direct flights between the two countries.
Pranckietis said following their meeting: “The Knesset speaker said it would be a very good thing, that this is to be sought and, it appears, it can happen in the future. It would stimulate tourism.” He said about 20,000 tourists from Israel visit Lithuania annually.
“And our people could travel to get warm. As they said in an informal conversation, our sea is the coldest, but theirs is the warmest. Our people could continue vacations and summer in that country,” Pranckietis speculated.
Currently only the budget airline Wizz Air flies between Tel Aviv and Vilnius.
Speaker Pranckietis said they also discussed security and economic cooperation. He also mentioned future Lithuanian interest in importing liquefied natural gas from Israel if there is a way to do so. “They have natural gas resources, we buy gas and we’re interested in making it possible for our people to keep warm as cheaply as possible. If the price is right, it would be very good,” he said.
He reported their views on the Ukraine situation were aligned.
“Of course we addressed the issue of Ukraine. He’s also in solidarity with Ukraine, doesn’t recognize the annexation of the Crimea and knows the problem needs to be ended categorically with the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Pranckietis said.
Lithuania also asked Israel to support the Lithuanian position on the nuclear reactor being built in Astravyets, Belarus. Lithuania considers it dangerous and wants other countries not purchase the electricity it will produce.
Yuli-Yoel Edelstein also offered Israeli expertise on how to keep in contact with émigré populations. He also proposed holding inter-parliamentary video conferences.