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On Tuesday, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu discussed Estonia’s positions at the EU External Affairs Council meeting on 16 December and came to the conclusion that the Eastern Partnership policy, which has experienced a strong setback over the last weeks, needs a serious change.

“Despite the ongoing events in Ukraine, the precise outcome of which is difficult to predict, the European Union must continue its active foreign policy in the whole Eastern Partnership space,” said the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson.

“Armenia’s decision to join the customs union led by Russia and Ukraine’s decision to halt the preparations for the association agreement with the European Union at least in part point to the failure of the Eastern Partnership policy so far. But this does not mean that the interest of the EU should wane. On the contrary, Estonia should cooperate with other like-minded Member States and raise the issue of changing the Eastern Partnership policy. As a country that support enlargement, it continues to be in Estonia’s interests to ask whether the Eastern Partnership policy had a better chance of success if the Eastern European countries could foresee a possibility for accession to the EU in their future,” Mihkelson said.

The Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius achieved a more modest result than had been hoped for, but clear progress was made with two Eastern Partners: Georgia and Moldova. Ukraine decided not to sign the association agreement immediately prior to the Vilnius Summit. The agreements with Georgia and Moldova were initialled.

Estonia is in favour of signing the agreement with Ukraine in the near future, at the first opportunity. It is also important to sign the agreements with Georgia and Moldova as soon as possible.

The Riigikogu Press Service