Russia Signals Disapproval of EU Eastern Partnership

YEREVAN (Arka)–Russia does not approve of the European Union’s new Eastern Partnership Program with former Soviet Union countries, a member of Russia’s delegation to the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) said Monday, urging Eastern European countries to reject the EU’s partnership offer.

“We consider the Eastern Partnership an attempt to turn post-soviet states of Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, into a near abroad, a kind of a colony,” Sergei Markov said during a space bridge between Yerevan and Moscow on the impact of the integration of sovereign states into international organizations.

The EU’s Eastern Partnership program is designed to boost financial support and cooperation for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, bringing them closer to the EU, politically and economically. The program’s objective is to boost political cooperation and integrate ex-soviet states into EU economy, as well as extend financial assistance to these countries and ensure energy security in the post-soviet space.

Markov did not, however, comment on Russia’s position regarding Armenia’s involvement in the new platform.

Markov described the Eastern Partnership program as an element of Europe’s “zero-sum policy,” which he said is hostile to Russia’s influence among former Soviet Union countries.

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