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2013.03.13 13:47

Foreign Minister calls on shaping EU strategic partnership with Russia

DELFI EN | The Lithuania Tribune2013.03.13 13:47

At the meeting of the EU foreign ministers on 11 March in Brussels, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius called on shaping the strategic partnership with Russia in a unified and consistent way, and assessing the country’s progress and reforms, not merely making political decisions, informs urm.lt. 

At the meeting of the EU foreign ministers on 11 March in Brussels, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius called on shaping the strategic partnership with Russia in a unified and consistent way, and assessing the country’s progress and reforms, not merely making political decisions, informs urm.lt.

“Balanced relationship can be ensured only by the EU’s unity and coherent and correct order of steps: firstly, implementing undertaken commitments, only then setting new goals. We believe that relations between the European Union and Russia should be regulated by the new comprehensive and legally binding agreement. It is important that also our partners demonstrate a wish to complete this agreement,” Linkevičius said.

When preparing for the strategic debate for the heads of state and government on Russia on 15 March, the Foreign Affairs Council discussed relations with this country, its trends of domestic and foreign policy.

The head of the Lithuanian diplomacy stressed that Lithuania was ready to contribute to shaping a real strategic partnership, and called on the EU to seek unity and to adhere to its principles, especially in assessing the human rights situation in Russia. According to the Minister, Russia must make efforts to fulfil the obligations and commitments it entered into when joining the World Trade Organization and to comply with the EU legislation in force when supplying energy to Europe.

“We have measures that we can use. We have already made a decision to renew the visa facilitation agreement. However, as we think about next steps, we should take into account whether Russia lives up to its promises to carry out reforms,” Linkevičius said.

Prior to the Foreign Affairs Council, the Foreign Minister attended a meeting of the Friends of Moldova Group, which was organised at the initiative of the Romanian and French Ministers, and discussed Moldova’s internal situation and perspectives on European integration.

“The European Union is ready to help, but Moldova has to find a way out of the current situation itself. Personalities play an important role in politics, and all politicians should focus on one goal – Moldova’s European future,” Linkevičius said.

The EU foreign ministers and Lakhdar Brahimi, Joint Special Representative of the UN and the League of Arab States for Syria, discussed the situation in Syria.

“The only way out of the crisis in Syria is a political dialogue between the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and the Syrian regime that would lead to a peaceful transition. The European Union must support initiatives for peace and take care of refugees both inside and outside Syrian territory,” Linkevičius said.