Foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland have proposed EU-Russia talks with those Eastern Partnership countries, which aspire EU integration, namely Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, “about the consequences” of the Association Agreements.
A joint statement by the three foreign ministers – Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany, Laurent Fabius of France and Radosław Sikorski of Poland, who met in Weimar, is mainly on Ukraine, but also addresses EU’s Eastern Partnership. It says that the initiative’s goal is “to assist our Partners in building strong, stable, prosperous and citizen-oriented states and to facilitate people to people contacts. This is also in the interest of Russia.”
“Therefore, we will continue our policy and ensure that the Eastern Partnership countries are not faced with a stark choice – either moving closer to the EU or working with Russia in a comprehensive manner. Neither the Eastern Partnership of the EU nor the bilateral agreements the EU concludes with its partners are directed against Russia,” reads the statement.
The statement, which condemns Crimea’s annexation by Russia, calls for “a meaningful dialogue” between Ukraine and Russia as “a central step for de-escalation.”
“Accompanying such a dialogue, we propose EU-Russia talks with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia about the consequences of the EU-Association Agreements with Eastern European Partners for both sides,” the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland said in their joint statement.
They have also called on Russia “to refrain from any further escalation of the situation within Ukraine and reduce its military posture along the Russian-Ukrainian border. The same applies to other Eastern Partnership countries.”
The statement notes Georgia “significant progress” in Visa Liberalisation Action Plan with the EU and reiterates readiness “to provide further support after signature of the Association Agreement and to assist during the phase of implementation.”