Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas and Minister of Foreign Affairs Keit Pentus-Rosimannus participated in the fourth summit of the European Union and Eastern Partnership (EaP) states in the Latvian capital Riga and called for more support for Estonia's eastern allies.
Rõivas said that Estonia is expecting a specific support for Ukraine and Georgia. “The implementation of the free trade area of Ukraine and the EU in the beginning of 2016 is a very important and symbolic step. In addition, there can be no barriers to granting visa-free travel to Ukraine and Georgia given that they meet the established criteria.”
Rõivas is also convinced that a clearly defined opportunity for joining the EU in the future would strategically be the right signal and would convey, in addition to stimulating reforms, a clear message from Europe to the instigators of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
The objective of the Riga summit was to confirm the joint commitment of the EU in continuing the Eastern Partnership as a policy with long-term goals. Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have begun implementing the association agreements signed last year and the work done so far within the EaP framework has led to the granting of visa-free travel rights to Moldova.
In addition to the EU leaders, the representatives of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine attended the summit.
The EaP is an initiative of the EU governing its rellationship with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, intended to provide a venue for discussions of trade, economic strategy, travel agreements, and other issues between the EU and its eastern neighbors. The project was initiated by Poland and a subsequent proposal was prepared in co-operation with Sweden.
Editor: S. Tambur