VILNIUS (Sputnik) – Despite a severe and ongoing refugee crisis in Europe, the European Union must continue the realization of its Eastern Partnership program, Speaker at the Lithuanian Seimas, Loreta Grauziniene, said at a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Monday.
“One should not refuse the ambitions and aspirations of implementing the Eastern Partnership program amid the geopolitical changes in the region,” Grauziniene said.
The Eastern Partnership program establishes closer ties between the European Union and several former Soviet republics, including Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The partnership stipulates visa regime simplification between the participants.
Over 500,000 migrants have entered the EU since the beginning of 2015, according to the European Commission. The migrant crisis has prompted several European countries to tighten border controls and implement new, stricter asylum and migrant legislation.