WASHINGTON — Lithuania expects they will be joining the European Union eurozone (the economic bloc using the euro has their main currency), even with their budget deficit higher this year than their original forecasts.
Reuters reported that they aim to join the eurozone by 2015 and the main qualification is that its deficit cannot exceed 3% of its gross domestic product.
This announcement came as Ukraine, which had been considering a historic trade pact with the EU, withdrew from negotiations after significant pressure from Russia.
Lithuania’s finance minister, Rimantas Sadzius, told Reuters “I think chances are almost close to 100 percent the deficit is under control,” Sadzius said. “The central target is 2.9 percent.”
Lithuania will be joining neighboring Latvia and Estonia in the EU. Latvia will become the 18th member of the eurozone within the next year and Estonia joined in 2011 as the first Baltic state to do so.
But, the Lithuanian economy is still recovering and it will take time.