Lithuanian FM says hearing various considerations from EU members on Kyiv accession talks

  • 2023-11-09
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis says he is hearing "various considerations" from European Union (EU) member states on Ukraine's EU membership negotiations.

His comments came after the European Commission recommended opening formal membership talks with Ukraine and Moldova as well as granting candidate status to Georgia. However, a final and unanimous decision on this still has to be taken by national leaders.

"I cannot say whether the EU leaders are ready to vote unanimously, because it is a matter of a unanimous vote,” Lithuanian top diplomat told reporters in the Seimas on Thursday.

“We are hearing all sorts of considerations, Hungary, an opponent of the EU's geopolitical direction, has said immediately that it does not support such a decision, it has made remarks about Ukraine's democracy, and I always invite you to look in the mirror.”

However, he stressed that the European institutions have the leverage and bargaining power to find the solution.

"I want to believe that it will be found," the head of Lithuanian diplomacy said.

He also pointed out that the Commission had also expressed certain conditions.

The European Commission on Wednesday lauded Ukraine, saying that the government “has shown a remarkable level of institutional strength, determination and ability to function.”

But it also said that talks should only start once it has addressed corruption, lobbying concerns, and a law on national minorities.

"This must be taken seriously," Landsbergis said.

However, he said that "Lithuania is ready to stand with Ukraine on the road to reform, too".

"We will help every step of the way, we will mobilize coalitions so that there will be more help", the minister said.

The Community’s leaders are expected to decide whether to endorse the Commission's recommendations at a summit in Brussels on December 14-15.