L. Linkevičius: We need to help Eastern Partners, who are experiencing economic pressure and military aggression due to their European choice
On 13 May, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius participated in the Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers' meeting in Brussels.
The Lithuanian Foreign Minister named the Eastern Partnership as one of the most successful policies of the European Union and emphasized its huge practical benefits to ordinary people. L. Linkevičius reiterated also Lithuania's strong political commitment to an ambitious Eastern Partnership policy in the future.
“We have to be proud of what we have managed to achieve in the first ten years of the Eastern Partnership together. The achievements include, to mention just a few: the Association agreements, visa-free regimes, growing mutual trade, and fast-developing people-to-people contacts. However, strong political will of both Eastern partners and the EU is needed to fully tap into the potential of the Eastern Partnership in the future,” said L. Linkevičius. According to him, it is important for the Eastern Partnership countries to continue implementing their deep and comprehensive reforms, while the EU should continue providing not only financial and expert aid, but also supporting them through new incentives.
“We back the European choice and European aspirations of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. We hear of their determination to implement reforms and to deepen sectoral integration with the EU, and, finally, to become an integral part of the EU's internal market, and we support it. Those Eastern partners, who wish to achieve more in their relationship with the EU, must enjoy the opportunity. Let us not forget that Ukraine and Georgia have suffered Russia`s direct aggression because of their European choice. These countries are paying a high price for their choice,” said the Foreign Minister.
On 14 May, the Minister L. Linkevičius will also attend a high level conference dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the partnership in Brussels.