VILNIUS - Adopting the euro currency in Lithuania would diminish the country's dependence upon Russia, member of the European Parliament Margarita Starkeviciute said.
Starkeviciute told the daily newspaper Lietuvos Rytas that Lithuania was likely to join the euro zone in 2008 instead of its original target of 2007.
"There are no economic obstacles. The attempts to postpone the decision cannot be excused and they are harmful for the state," she said.
She said the proposals to postpone the accession to the euro zone may have a damaging effect on Lithuania's independence. The adoption of the euro would not only give a new impetus to the transformation of the economy, but would also help Lithuania avoid "becoming a satellite country highly dependant upon others."
The European Commission rejected Lithuania's request to join the euro zone this spring due to an unacceptable level of inflation. The government now expects to adopt the currency in 2010.