WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 3rd Eastern Partnership Summit concluded in Vilnius, Lithuania. Closer cooperation between the European Union and its Eastern European partners – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine – is a key objective of the EU's external relations. The objective is to bring the space of prosperity, security and stability that we enjoy in the European Union to our close neighbors in the East.
"The European Union is a dynamic project. European aspirations and European choice are not vane words," said Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council. He added that "the European Union believes in close political ties and in the power of shared prosperity because we know the benefits they bring to both sides."
He regretted the decision of the Ukrainian government not to sign the Association Agreement at the Vilnius Summit and stressed that "the European Union's position remains clear. The offer of signing the most ambitious agreement the European Union has ever offered to a non-Member State is still on the table. We stand ready to sign with Ukraine once the benchmarks put forward by the European Union are met and we are really close. We may not miss this rendez-vous with history later on. We have to set aside short term considerations and we have to overcome pressure from abroad. This is a time of courage, this is a time of decisions."
Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, said this "partnership was never an imposition, but rather a proposition." He added that "this Agreement would save Ukrainian business some 500 million euros a year just in import duties. It would increase Ukraine's GDP by more than six per cent in the longer term. And by confirming Ukraine's modernisation pledge, it would also give momentum to billion-euro loan negotiations with International Financial Institutions."
The Eastern Partnership summit deliverables:
- Signature of a Visa Facilitation Agreement with Azerbaijan
- Signature of a Framework Participation Agreement for participation in EU-led crisis management operations with Georgia
- Initialing of an Association Agreement, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas, with Georgia and with Republic of Moldova
- Initialing of a Common Aviation Area Agreement with Ukraine
- Agreement on an Eastern Partnership transport network, with a list of priority projects
Signatures, Statements, Joint Summit Declaration & audiovisual material
SOURCE Delegation of the European Union to the United States