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Live Blog: Eastern Partnership Summit In Vilnius

The six Eastern Partnership countries are meeting for a Summit in Vilnius. On the eve of the summit, Georgia and Moldova initialed Association Agreements with the European Union, but no other countries are expected to follow suit.


Jose Manuel Barroso, Herman Van Rompuy and Viktor Yanukovych at a meeting in Vilnius.

Jose Manuel Barroso, Herman Van Rompuy and Viktor Yanukovych at a meeting in Vilnius.

15:59 29.11.2013
Summary

-- Until last week Ukraine had said it was intent on signing an Association Agreement, but backed out under pressure from Moscow. Although Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych released a statement today expressing a desire to join an Association Agreement in the "nearest future," European leaders criticized his inaction at the close of the Summit.

-- Leaders also lashed out at Moscow for putting what they call undue pressure on Eastern Parternship countries. "This is not a zero sum game," said Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council.

-- Georgia and Moldova have initialed their Association Agreements. Georgian First Deputy Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, leading his country's delegation, said the 1,000-page document is irrevocable.

-- Association Agreements create a framework for cooperation, including trade, with the EU, but also require the signees to undertake broad domestic political reforms. Ukraine would have adopted 350 EU laws under a proposed Association Agreement.

-- Van Rompuy announced today that Belarus is ready to begin negotiating a visa facilitation agreement with the EU. Talks may start in December.

Glenn Kates
13:20 29.11.2013
Some weekend reading.

13:10 29.11.2013
13:06 29.11.2013
Earlier this week, Yanukoych said he would consider withdrawing Ukraine from a gas transit pact with the EU. He cited anger over the South Stream gas pipeline project, which would bypass Ukraine, carrying Russian natural gas through the Black Sea to Bulgaria.

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