EU has to be more strategic, resolute and united on Eastern Partnership, Lithuanian Foreign Minister says

18 December 2013, Last updated at, 12:02 EET
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author: Council of the European Union

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius on December 16 in the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers called on the European Union to pay more attention to the Eastern Partnership programme and all its members, particularly Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova.

“The Vilnius Summit opened our eyes: we must be more strategic, resolute and united with regard to the Eastern Partnership,” Minister Linkevičius said.

During the discussion on Ukraine, the Foreign Minister spoke about his visit to Kyiv and urged to have a continuous presence of high level EU representatives in Ukraine to monitor the situation and, if necessary, to help find solutions. Minister Linkevičius said that now it was most important to use all available means to ensure the safety of demonstrators and to prevent violence and provocations as well as to pursue genuine and meaningful dialogue. On the eve of the Ukrainian President’s visit to Moscow, the Lithuanian Foreign Minister underlined that he expected Kyiv to come up with a clear position on the path to the EU.

“If the Ukrainian leadership shows clear determination to sign the Association Agreement, we shall remain open to dialogue while holding firmly to our principles. We have to take into account the expectations of those who turned to the streets to defend the European choice,” Minister Linkevičius said.

According to the Minister, to meet the expectations of the people of Ukraine and of Georgia and Moldova, the countries that have initialled the Association Agreements, the EU must take creative and flexible steps, particularly in the area of visa liberalisation. It is also necessary to compile a catalogue of measures to help the countries that have chosen the association path.

Speaking before the EU Ministers’ lunch with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Linas Linkevičius called on the EU to perform a “reality check” and to consider the directions of the future relationship. The Foreign Minister stressed that all countries, including Russia, had to respect the choice of other countries.

“I invited the Russian Foreign Minister to meet in January to discuss our bilateral relations. Dialogue always helps to address problems,” Minister Linkevičius said after the discussion.

The Ministers also discussed the agreement that had been reached to halt Iran’s nuclear programme. Lithuania welcomed the deal and expressed support to further efforts of the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton to achieve a long-term overall compromise.

The Council also discussed the preparation for the Syrian peace talks, the situation in the Western Balkans and progress in the Belgrade–Pristina dialogue. The Ministers adopted conclusions on Lebanon, Iran and the Middle East peace process and condemned violence in the Central African Republic.


 

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From 28.11.2013 to 29.11.2013
The 3rd Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius

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