Lithuania and Serbia discuss bilateral ties, European integration
On 6 February, consultations of the Political Directors of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania and Serbia were held in Vilnius. The interlocutors discussed bilateral relations, Serbia’s readiness to negotiate its accession to the EU, and the situation in the Western Balkans.
“Lithuania particularly appreciates the willingness of all the countries aspiring to integrate into the EU and their determination to show respect for EU values, obvious European political decision‑making orientation and implementation of the necessary reforms,” said Asta Skaisgirytė, Political Director of Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She also noted that 2018 was very important for the Western Balkans in fostering the European perspective of this region. According to Skaisgirytė, this is clearly reflected in the European Commission’s recently adopted strategy ‘A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans’.
As regards the enlargement of the EU, it is important for Lithuania that candidate countries should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration their effort to meet the key criteria for EU accession and without setting specific dates.
“Hopefully, the EU’s increased attention will encourage Serbia to steadfastly meet its commitments towards the EU, including the alignment with the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). It is necessary to continue to implement reforms in crucial areas, such as the rule of law and freedom of the media, as well as to normalize relations with Kosovo,” said the Political Director of Lithuania.
The Political Directors also discussed topical items on the international agenda, issues of security and defence, NATO policy, and other relevant topics.