Ilves Encourages Eastern Partnership Countries to Step Up to European Principles ({{commentsTotal}})

Presidents Bronislaw Komorowski and Toomas Hendrik Ilves (bow tie) Source: Photo: AP/Scanpix

Speaking at an annual conference of ambassadors in Poland, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves discussed the EU's Eastern Partnership project, focusing on Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.

The Eastern Partnership was initiated by Poland and adopted by the EU in 2009 as an effort to improve relations with and to promote positive development in post-Soviet countries.

"The European Union is ready to support - and it is in the interest of the whole of democratic Europe that it does - these countries in adopting European values in politics, economics, law, and the tangible result would be association agreements with the European Union,“ Ilves said.

"But the prerequisite is that Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova make a determined and credible effort to approach the European Union and the principles which the EU is based upon. Words and promises alone do not suffice. Brussels does not believe empty promises. There must be action. First these countries must make a clear and final decision on where they want to belong.“

As part of his three-day trip to Poland, Ilves also met with President Bronislaw Komorowski. The two visited the Josef Pilsudski Museum, where they opened a commemorative plaque to former Estonian commander in chief Johan Laidoner, whose wife was Polish.

In a press release, Ilves recalled the last sentence written by the Estonian general in prison before his death: "People die, but nations do not disappear; the nation lives on."

Ilves said: "The history of Estonia and Poland is living confirmation of this. Despite repeated attempts to erase us from maps as independent states, the erasers themselves have faded into the dimness of the past.“

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