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Published: 24 july 2012 10:52

EU ministers approve plan for Eastern neighbors before 2013 Vilnius summit

Audronius Ažubalis
Luko Balandžio nuotr. / Audronius Ažubalis

Ministers of the European Union (EU) and six Eastern Partnership countries have approved the Roadmap Plan, which envisages goals that should be implemented by the 3rd EU-Eastern Partnership summit to be hosted by Lithuania in the fall of 2013, Lithuania's Foreign Ministry informs.

Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis said the plan along with the Prague and Warsaw summits provided sufficient measures for progress, adding that it was high time to seek results. The minister said that active mutual efforts allowed hoping for more success during the Vilnius summit.

To Roadmap was approved by the EU and six Eastern Partnership countries, namely, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

Ažubalis told BNS that EU countries emphasized differences among the six neighboring countries, adding that the biggest progress demonstrated by Moldova and Georgia "indicated the greatest willingness to draw closer to Europe."

"It was stressed that there was no one face and that all six countries were very different. Everyone spoke about the upcoming Vilnius summit and the expected outcome of it. We said to ourselves the results should include implementation of the key points from the Roadmap, which was proposed to all Eastern Partnership countries. The exclusive features of the map – all-embracing trade meetings and visa liberalization," the minister told BNS.

In Ažubalis' words, the EU's Eastern Partnership program "should not be weaker or less appealing than what third countries have to offer to the Eastern Partnership countries."

"The principle of 'more for more' should be preserved and developed further," the minister said.

He emphasized that, in order to achieve progress, for example, give the EU membership perspective to the Eastern Partnership countries, they must respect the values that the EU is built on.

"The upcoming election will be a serious test. Rapid progress can be made in association negotiations or separate fields of cooperation; however, all the achievements can go null overnight, if the elections are not free and fair," the Lithuanian diplomacy chief told BNS.

BNS
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