Vilnius gave its full support Wednesday to Georgia and Moldova, whose EU Association Agreements will come into effect on July 1, 2016.
The Lithuanian capital also expressed its hope that in the near future such an agreement will be enforced in Ukraine.
Like Lithuania, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine were part of the USSR until its collapse in 1991. However, unlike Lithuania who became a European Union member state in 2004, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine still have yet to join the EU and as a result are currently more directly threatened by Kremlin aggression.
In an act of solidarity and support of the three states previously states oppressed by decades of Soviet rule, Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Simasius placed the flags of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine around the necks of three angel statues in the Lithuanian capital.
“I never thought that during the post-Soviet past that Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine would be signing this Trade Agreement with the European Union,” said Simasius. “I think these countries deserve a better situation with the EU, and I think they are a part of the European future. I also believe that the European Union is the future for those countries.
“For us as Lithuanians, we understand Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine because we had a similar path to follow when we were joining the EU. Our hearts and minds are with those countries, and these emotional factors are even stronger than practical ones such as being trade partners.
“I have no doubt that whatever's needed, then Lithuania will be on their side.”
Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine signed Association Agreements with the European Union on June 27, 2014. The agreements are widely perceived to be a step towards joining the EU.
Read more at The Baltic Times.