Trilateral EU Eastern Partnership projects of Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine were presented in Brussels

On 8 December in Brussels, Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs Vygaudas Usackas took part in a meeting between heads of diplomacy from 27 European Union member states and six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). Implementation of the Eastern Partnership initiative and priorities for 2010 were discussed at the meting.

Minister V.Usackas together with his Belarusian counterpart Sergei Martynov and Ukrainian foreign minister Petro Poroshenko presented a list of trilateral projects for the Eastern Partnership programme. These projects mainly cover border protection, social and energy security, common historic and cultural heritage.

Head of Lithuania's diplomacy expressed satisfaction that it was agreed to include the Lithuanian proposals on transport, nuclear safety and cultural heritage projects into action programmes for the next year.

Minister V.Usackas noted that free trade, dialogue on visa facilitation and cooperation on energy issues were important elements of the Eastern Partnership. The Minister urged to end a discriminatory EU policy towards the Belarusian citizens, who have to pay for a Schengen visa twice as much as citizens from other Eastern Partnership countries.

"We expect that in the nearest future the EU and Belarus will start a dialogue concerning the decrease in price of Schengen visa for the Belarusian citizens and it will be reduced from 60 to 35 euros", Minister V.Usackas said.

Minister V.Usackas also presented the proposals of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Seimas of Lithuania to develop parliamentary cooperation between the Eastern Partnership and the EU countries.


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