On 9 February in Vilnius, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius acquainted Ambassadors of the EU member states with Lithuania’s stance on important items on the EU’s domestic and foreign agendas.
The participants of the meeting discussed situations in Ukraine and Moldova, the implementation of the Minsk accords, relations between the EU and Belarus, a proposal for a new settlement of the United Kingdom within the EU put forward by the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, outcomes of the last informal meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers (Gymnich) and the upcoming Foreign Affairs Council to be held on 15 February.
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister drew the EU Ambassadors’ attention to the fact that the Minsk accords were not fully implemented, Ukraine was still not given control over its border with Russia and the security situation in the occupied territory of Donbas remained difficult. Linkevičius noted that it was now more import than ever before for all Ukrainian political forces to reach an agreement and continue implementing reforms.
“Government institutions and political forces of Ukraine should stay focused, decidedly pursue reforms, restore citizens and international partners’ confidence,” said the Foreign Minister.
Linkevičius stated that the proposal for a new settlement of the United Kingdom within the EU put forward by the President of the European Council Tusk presupposed a positive evaluation of an the agreement.
“We agree that with joint efforts by all parties we can reach the agreement that would allow us make the European Union even more efficient,” said Linkevičius.
As regards the migration crisis, the head of the Lithuanian diplomacy attached importance to the implementation of the existing agreements.
“We have to fully respect our commitments undertaken in the fields of protection and management of the EU’s external borders, the return of economic migrants and readmission, as well as to ensure activities of supporting groups at migration control centres,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister.
Linkevičius also presented Lithuania’s position on Moldova, Belarus and climate diplomacy. These issues will be discussed at the EU’s upcoming Foreign Affairs Council on 15 February in Brussels.
“It is important for the Belarusian Government to continue taking positive steps after releasing the country’s political prisoners. We want to see some further progress, which would allow the EU to continue its dialogue with Belarus. Lithuania remains particularly interested in issues related to the nuclear power plant in Astravets, which the country has continually raised both in bilateral meetings with Belarusian representatives and in multilateral forums,” said Linkevičius.
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister also highlighted the importance of the EU’s greater involvement in helping Moldova tackle its economic and political crisis.
“The EU’s support will depend on essential reforms and obvious results. Today, however, the EU must get more actively involved in helping Moldova achieve political and economic stability,” said the head of the Lithuanian diplomacy.
The Foreign Minister’s traditional meeting with the EU Ambassadors in Vilnius was organized by the Embassy of the Netherlands. The country holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 January to 30 June 2016.