VILNIUS - The European Commission's recent recommendation to grant war-torn Ukraine EU candidate status is now also backed by former skeptics, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis says.
"There's a lot of optimism," Lithuania's top diplomat told reporters at the Lithuanian parliament on Tuesday. "Even some skeptics and critics have expressed their support for granting candidate status but they also expect reforms and transformations."
He made the remarks after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday.
Discussions are still ongoing at the ambassadorial level, he said, adding that "minor editorial changes" might turn the whole process upside down.
"We cannot yet say it's a won battle. (...) We are trying to convince those who are still a bit hesitant. And these hesitations are varied, they come in different proposals, maybe we should swap things up: first, the reforms, not the candidate status," the minister said.
"They seem to be minor editorial changes that change the whole logic of the Commission's proposal," he added.
Last Friday, the European Commission proposed to EU leaders to grant Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status, it added, however, that the two countries were asked to implement certain changes in their state governance.
EU members states will need to make the final unanimous decision on whether to accept the EC recommendation when their leaders will meet for the European Council's two-day meeting on Thursday.