Meetings of Minister Linas Linkevičius in Brussels focus on Eastern Partnership
On 23 November in Brussels, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs David McAllister and Knut Fleckenstein, Member of the European Parliament, who is one of the drafters of the European Parliament’s recommendations for the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels.
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister congratulated the European Parliament on the adoption of the recommendations and expressed Lithuania’s strong support.
“The European Parliament’s recommendations include many elements that are important for us and for the Eastern Partnership countries. We will fully support the European Parliament in order to have these recommendations implemented,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister.
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister thanked Members of the European Parliament for their support when raising the issue in the international arena regarding the safety of the Ostrovets nuclear power plant in Lithuania’s neighbourhood and demanding that Belarus should comply with the highest nuclear safety standards. “Ostrovets is not just our problem, it raises whole Europe’s concerns,” said Linkevičius.
The participants of the meetings noted that the greatest future challenges included a smooth implementation of the Association Agreements between the European Union and Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia, and of related reforms. “We agreed that our active engagement and support - not just political, but also financial - was necessary. In this context, we also discussed the importance of a New European Plan for Ukraine,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister.
The head of Lithuania’s diplomacy also attended the conference, entitled “Quo Vadis Eastern Partnership? A Retrospective Look into the Future”. The conference was organized by the European Endowment for Democracy.
Linkevičius addressed the participants of the conference, emphasizing that the story of the Eastern Partnership was a success story. “The results are really impressive: we have already concluded and are currently implementing the Association Agreements between the European Union and Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia. These are the most ambitious agreements that the EU has ever concluded with the third countries – we have lifted visa requirements for the citizens of the three countries. It is also important to continue to help the partners implement reforms and strengthen their resilience, bearing in mind that five out of the six Eastern Partnership countries are affected by conflicts. We must recognize the choice of the partners who have chosen the European path,” said Linkevičius.
On 24 November, the Minister Linkevičius, as part of the delegation led by the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė, will participate in the fifth Eastern Partnership Summit, as well as the EU and Eastern Partnership foreign ministers’ working lunch hosted by the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and the EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn that will focus on the further implementation of the Eastern Partnership initiative.