At an EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels on Monday, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius called for closer ties between the EU and Ukraine and Georgia.
Linas Linkevičius
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

Linkevicius stressed that the key elements of the EU's relations with Ukraine were currently the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), and the introduction of a visa-free regime. The introduction of a visa-free regime is now the one main issue facing Georgia as well.

"I am convinced that Georgia and Ukraine have done their homework, so we expect that the European Commission submits a report on 15 December, which will be positive and will find that all the benchmarks are achieved, so the countries will be able to move towards a visa-free regime in 2016," said Linkevicius.

The ministers at the meeting agreed on the need for tailor-made approaches for each EU partner country in the East to cater to their very different situations. Ukraine and Georgia were not the only countries discussed.

"In discussions with Moldovan politicians it is made clear that despite the country's fragile political situation, the formation of a pro-European government is still possible," said Linkevičius.

Over lunch, the ministers also met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to discuss the situations in Syria, Libya and Iraq, as well as the threat posed by Daesh. Linkevičius noted that the strategic relationship with Turkey was much deeper than just the cooperative efforts being made towards the EU's enlargement and its migrant crisis.

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