EU must defend its Eastern neighbours. Jacek Saryusz-Wolski MEP
"Recent pressures exercised by Russia and the consequences they had on the EU Eastern neighbourhood, i.e. Armenia’s announcement to join the Customs Union, Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s statement to consider such an option, the trade war with the Ukraine and numerous threats towards Moldova, are a blatant attempt to put the whole Eastern Partnership project into question. I am glad that the European Parliament will take a clear position on the issue", said Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Vice-President of the EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly and Vice-President of the European People’s Party, commenting on today’s decision of the European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents to put the debate, with a Resolution, on the pressures exercised by Russia in the context of the November Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, on the agenda of next week’s plenary session in Strasbourg.
"Offering and negotiating Association Agreements with our European neighbouring countries exposed them to pressures from Russia. The EU has a responsibility to defend its Eastern partners from Russia's unacceptable actions aimed at deterring them from association with the EU", added Saryusz-Wolski, initiator and author of the Resolution.
Submitted by the EPP Group, the draft Resolution which MEPs will debate next Thursday in plenary, recalls that Eastern Partnership countries have full sovereign right and freedom to build relations as equal partners with partners of their choice in accordance with the Helsinki Final Act. This right should by no means be infringed upon. MEPs deplore the fact that as the Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit approaches, different types of pressure are escalating in countries which are about to sign or initial Association Agreements.
"The trade war between Russia and the Ukraine was simply a signal sent to other countries about Russia’s real intentions and its opposition to their association with the European Union. It is not only about individual countries, it is about the whole relationship between the EU and it’s Eastern Neighbours. The Ukraine, Armenia, Moldova and Georgia are just parts of the escalating pressure, whose goal is to bring the whole Eastern Partnership project which, by itself, is one of the pillars of the EU’s foreign policy, into question", stressed the MEP.
At the same time, the Resolution calls on the Eastern Partnership countries to continue and step up their efforts to conclude current work in the run-up to the Vilnius Summit.
For further information:
Jacek SARYUSZ-WOLSKI MEP, tel.: +32-228-45371
Agata Byczewska, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, tel: +32-473-841093
Note to Editors
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 275 Members from 27 Member States.