Lithuania’s foreign minister Linas Linkevicius (photo: twitter)
Ukraine will receive a Lithuanian specialist who will help the country implement economic reforms, Lithuania's foreign minister Linas Linkevicius has said.
The specialist who will provide assistance to the reform group established within the Ukrainian president's administration. The expert, who has not been named, will be chosen and dispatched in September, the Minster told Ziniu Radijas.
"There were various signals that it was stalling, but we were assured that everything is going strictly in accordance with the schedule," Linkevicius said after a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on the signing of an EU association agreement.
"The president is sure that the Association Agreement with the EU will be ratified in September by the Rada of old composition. As you know it was announced that the Rada was being dismissed and new elections were announced for October, but until that time the old Rada will continue working,"
Linkevicius added that it's hoped parliamentary elections would run smoothly and peacefully.
"Hopefully the security situation will somewhat improve before that, although we have seen no indications suggesting this yet, even before today's meeting in Minsk," said Linkevicius.
The foreign minister noted that "it is difficult to expect a breakthrough" during Tuesday's multilateral meeting in Minsk, which will be attended by leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and the European Union, as "the background is very unfavorable".
"It is especially worrying that on the eve of the meeting the situation exacerbated, 30 armored vehicles and tanks crossed the border, and 10 paratroopers were detained in the territory of Ukraine. When civilian cargo vehicles cross the border it can be regarded as a grave violation of international law, () but when open military invasion is taking place, these are signs of aggression," said Linkevicius.
Nonetheless the head of Lithuania's diplomacy hopes that discussions among the leaders will help find leverage to stop the armed conflict.
"Supply of terrorist groups should be stopped by the Russian side, otherwise it is difficult to expect for a solution of the conflict," said Linkevicius.
After German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated earlier that she does not wish to undertake actions that would harm Russia, the Lithuanian foreign minister said that it is important not to harm Ukraine either, as economic and military powers are unequal.
"After all it is a test of our values and trustworthiness, a test of partnership with the EU and Western states, whether a country can choose its own path independently or someone has the right for a veto," said Minister Linkevicius.
According to Linkevicius, the decision has to be found "not at the expense of some of the partners". Poroshenko has said that it can be negotiated and sought for compromises but not at the expense of sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.