MEP: EU Eastern Partnership program no longer sustainable in current form ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Flags of the Eastern Partnership member countries, European Union and Estonia at the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership.
Flags of the Eastern Partnership member countries, European Union and Estonia at the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership. Source: Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership

The European Union should revise its Eastern Partnership program in the light of the Armenian-Azerbaijani clashes and events in Belarus, and freeze the three states' memberships, according to Estonian MEP Urmas Paet (Reform).

"This is a complicated issue for the European Union as it concerns our immediate neighborhood where once again attempts are being made to resolve issues by using force and violence," Paet said, adding that Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus are all members of the EU Eastern Partnership program.

"There are altogether six states in the program, two of which are currently engaged in a bloody war while the illegal dictator of a third state is having his own people humiliated and beaten. The question is how the EU can proceed with its Eastern Partnership program and if it wants to do so as the program is obviously not reasonable in its current form," he noted.

MEP Urmas Paet (Reform/ALDE) Source: Kairit Leibold/ERR

Paet noted that the European Union's program can currently primarily focus on Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

"If Belarus manages to hold free elections, it could effectively return to the program," Paet said. "Armenia and Azerbaijan, however, having opted for a bloody military solution, cannot continue in the EU's Eastern Partnership program in the same form."

Paet opined that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict cannot be resolved by using military means as violent solutions are neither consequential or long-lasting.  

"This also needs to be the position of the international community, including the European Union. Both parties to the war need to be influenced and pressured into stopping the killing, which only results in more suffering for the local people and cannot produce any resolution in the long run," Paet said.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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