Seimas committee chair: Lithuania expected more from Eastern Partnership summit

Benediktas Juodka
DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

“Our country’s wishes were bigger compared to the results of the Riga summit,” he told journalists on Monday.

Lithuania had expected that Eastern Partnership countries would be given a clear EU membership perspective and Georgia and Ukraine would receive guarantees for a visa-free regime, Juodka said.

“When sending our minister, we asked him to tell the Foreign Affairs Council that Lithuania wants not a European perspective but an EU membership perspective for Eastern Partnership countries,” he said. “We also had a stronger position on visa liberalization for Georgia and Ukraine, especially for Georgia.”

Meanwhile Gediminas Kirkilas, chairman of the Seimas Committee on European Affairs, said it was clear before the summit already that the EU was not inclined to make specific decisions on Eastern Partnership countries.

“Not so much on Eastern Partnership countries but on the EU itself as it is not ready to expand,” he said.

The Eastern Partnership program involves six post-Soviet countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Russia criticizes the program, wishing to retain its influence on former Soviet republics.

The Latvian capital of Riga hosted the Eastern Partnership summit last Thursday and Friday. It final declaration acknowledges “the European aspirations and European choice of the partners.” Western and Southern European countries, however, rejected proposals to give the countries an EU membership perspective.

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