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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: The Pressure Directed at Eastern Partnership States to Withdraw from Cooperation with the European Union is Unacceptable

09.09.2013

 

In a meeting with the foreign ministers of the European Union member states in Vilnius, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that economic and political pressure directed at Eastern Partnership states by third countries is unacceptable. “States must have the opportunity to choose what is best for their future freely and without pressure,” stated Paet. “The European Union has a duty to support the Eastern Partnership countries in every way, because they trust the European Union,” he added.

According to Paet, the EU-Armenia negotiations have led to a very good Association Agreement, which will create many new opportunities. “We are ready to move forward with the agreement. We support Armenia’s integration with Europe and initialling of the Association Agreement at the Eastern Partnership Summit in November in Vilnius, if Armenia still wants it,” noted Paet. “However, Armenia’s recent decision to join the Eurasian Union’s Customs Union and a free trade area with the European are mutually exclusive.”

In Paet’s words, it is not acceptable to put pressure not only on Armenia, but also Moldova, Ukraine, and Georgia to make them give up on moving closer to the European Union.

The Estonian foreign minister stressed that the European Union’s Eastern Partnership must quickly move to a new level. “The concluding of association agreements creates new opportunities to broaden the space of common values and the European Union, not just the Eastern partners, must make efforts towards this goal,” he said.

Paet says that, at the Eastern Partnership Summit in November in Vilnius, Estonia emphasises importance on the signing of an Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine. “Additionally, the conclusion of Association and Free Trade Agreements with Moldova and Georgia and moving forward towards visa-free travel are also important,” noted Paet. “However, the main objective is further substantial implementation of all of the agreements,” he added.

On September 7, Foreign Minister Paet and European Union colleagues will meet with US Secretary of Defense John Kerry. The situations in Syria and Europe’s southern neighbourhood will come under discussion.

 

 

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