Linkevičius: EU must fulfill its obligations, grant visa-free travel and give Eastern partners a European perspective

On 3 October in Brussels, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius along with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Mikheil Janelidze participated in a dialogue “What next for the Eastern Partnership?”. Linkevičius delivered a speech, highlighting that confidence in the Eastern Partnership and in the viability of the policy depended directly on the fulfilment of obligations by the EU.

“The Eastern Partnership countries have obviously chosen the European path, so we cannot close the door on them. It is particularly important that Georgia should be granted a visa-free regime promptly, as the country has fulfilled all the criteria,” said Linkevičius in the discussion at the European Policy Centre.

According to Lithuania’s Foreign Minister, the Eastern partners must see tangible benefits in cooperation with the EU, so that they would remain confident in the European Union.

“Having signed the Association Agreements/DCFTAs with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, the EU already acknowledged that its Eastern partners proceeded along the path to the EU and this is undeniable. This just needs to be acknowledged publicly and clearly,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister.

The Georgian Foreign Minister expressed his regret that in spite of the firm decision to follow the European path and the fulfilment of all the EU’s requirements, Georgia’s visa-free access to EU was delayed. According to Janelidze, the success in achieving visa-free travel for his country was especially important in order to give meaning to the ongoing reforms and to build credibility of the EU with Georgia’s citizens.


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