German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the Eastern Partnership is not aimed against any third countries and particularly it is not aimed against Russia.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told German lawmakers on Thursday that the EU’s so-called Eastern Partnership “is not directed against anyone, and not against Russia.” She pointed out that the European Union’s neighbors to the east are not presented with an “either-or” choice between Russia or the West, Deutsche Welle reports.
Talks at a two-day EU summit in Riga between the EU and Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Armenia serve to reaffirm ties between the bloc and the six former Soviet republics despite pressure from Russia.
In her speech in the German parliament on Thursday, Merkel emphasized that “since Vilnius, marked progress has been achieved, for example with the association agreements with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.”
But she also made it clear that the “Eastern Partnership is not part of the EU’s enlargement policy” and that “we should not foster false hope.”
Among the six countries in the eastern partnership, there are “vastly different expectations from the various countries,” Merkel said, adding that Germany, for example, “respects Armenia’s point-of-view” and that “it was up to Belarus to put in place the necessary conditions” for closer cooperation with the EU.