Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis: The prospect of EU membership is our moral commitment to Ukraine
On 16 March, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis attended a conference on the perspectives of Ukraine’s accession to the European Union. In his speech, Landsbergis voiced strong support for the Ukrainian people and highlighted the urgent need to grant Ukraine EU candidate status.
“Ukraine’s struggle is a fight for freedom and democracy in Europe. Today, Ukrainians are shedding their own blood for European values, so their application for Ukraine's membership in the European Union deserves serious attention and immediate action by the EU. It is our moral commitment to Ukraine and its people," said Landsbergis.
During the discussion, the Foreign Minister emphasized that the war in Ukraine began in 2014, when Ukrainians boldly expressed their wish to integrate into Europe. Now is the decisive moment when Europe will have to take concrete steps to implement this will.
“We respect the EU accession procedure that is to be followed in compliance with the EU law. However, this extraordinary situation requires extraordinary measures and solutions. If not now, when would be the best time to strengthen Ukrainians’ faith in their future in a united Europe?” Landsbergis said.
The online event, which focused on the prospects of putting Ukraine on a fast track to the EU, was held by the Eastern Europe Studies Centre. EU leaders have already acknowledged the European choice of Ukraine and transmitted its membership application to the European Commission for its opinion.
The event was attended by the Director General of the Government Office for Coordination of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Natalia Forsiuk, the Director for the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood and Institution Building at the European Commission Lawrence Meredith, experts from the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), the global think tank GLOBSEC, and the Polish Institute of International Relations. The Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Pavel Fischer also delivered a speech.