EU Leaders Prepare To Meet Eastern Neighbors

EU offers Eastern Partnership members money, motivation

"The participants stress that the Eastern Partnership aims at building a common area of shared democracy, prosperity, stability and increased cooperation and is not directed against anyone", said a joint declaration released following the Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels, which gathered leaders of the European Union and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.

"So, those who expect the acknowledgement of European prospects [at the Eastern Partnership summit] will be disappointed", he said.

The one-day summit was set to focus on four key areas: economic development and better market opportunities; strengthening institutions and good governance; enhancing interconnections, especially in transport and energy; and increasing mobility and contacts between people.

The EU has been walking a tightrope between wooing its eastern neighbors and avoiding rankling Moscow.

That language that was enough to secure approval from Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło (centre) with European Council President Donald Tusk (left) and European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker (right) before the start of the EU's Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels on Friday. That pact, however, omits free trade and is less ambitious than the Association Agreements secured by Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. He was represented by foreign minister Vladimir Makei.

Heads of state or government from the European Union member states and the six Eastern partner countries will look forward to future cooperation.

It is part of the European Neighborhood Policy and affects Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.

They will also take stock of what has been achieved since the last summit in Riga in 2015.

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