VILNIUS – The Ukrainians’ heroic struggle proves they deserve EU membership, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda says.
On Thursday, he met with visiting German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
"The Ukrainians have proved they deserve EU membership both through their heroic struggle for the values we all share and through the progress they have made in reforming their country," the Lithuanian president said, adding that the "unprecedented unity and consolidation of the West against rampant evil sends a very important signal to the Kremlin".
"Serious sanctions and the complete isolation of Russia should only be the beginning of the West's response. Yesterday, the United Nations condemned the Kremlin's military aggression. It is a sign, although symbolic, of complete unity of the world," Nauseda said.
He also emphasized the need for continued political, military and economic assistance to Ukraine. According to the Lithuanian president, "it is our duty to provide the Ukrainian people with whatever is needed to defend their country against the Russian forces".
Nauseda also thanked the German president for the historic decision of Germany to support Ukraine's fight with arms.
Earlier this week, Lithuania joined seven other EU countries to voice support for Ukraine’s membership in the bloc, the presidential office reported late on Monday.
The presidents of Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Slovakia signed an open letter calling on the leaders of EU member states to support Ukraine’s membership bid, to grant the country an EU candidate country status as soon as possible and to open the process of negotiations.