“Better late than never” – the Russian Foreign Ministry said in response to a proposal put forth by French, German and Polish foreign ministers on EU-Russian talks with those Eastern Partnership countries, which aspire EU integration, namely Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, “about the consequences” of the Association Agreements.
It said that this proposal is actually what Moscow was offering more than four months ago, but was rejected at the time by the EU.
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.
In response the Russian Foreign Ministry released on April 1 a relatively brief statement, mainly addressing Ukraine, but also touching upon the Eastern Partnership.
“Particularly conspicuous [in the statement of French, German and Polish foreign ministers] is the initiative about holding negotiations by the EU and Russia with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia on the consequences of signing Association Agreements by the Eastern Partnership countries with the EU for all the sides,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
“That is, in fact, approval of Russia’s initial proposal, which was put forth in November, 2013 and which was rejected right away by the EU. As the saying goes – better late than never! But the big question is whether Brussels and these countries of the Eastern Partnership are ready for that,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.