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CHISINAU -- A European Parliament member says Poland will push for closer relations with Eastern Partnership countries during its European Union presidency and will use Moldova as a "success model," RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Rafal Trzaskowski, a conservative Polish member of the EU's Parliamentary Cooperation Commission with Moldova, told RFE/RL today that of the six former Soviet republics in the EU's Eastern Partnership, Moldova has proven the "best student" in adopting European Union legislation.

The Eastern Partnership policy developed by Poland and Sweden to improve the EU's relations with its eastern neighbors also includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, and Ukraine.

Poland holds the EU's rotating chairmanship from July 1 to December 31.

Trzaskowski said the Polish EU Presidency would like to see negotiations on an Association Agreement started with Ukraine and to prepare Moldova, which has already made rapid progress in association talks, for a visa-free regime with the EU in the "not-so-distant future."

He said one of the highlights of the Polish EU Presidency will be an Eastern Partnership conference scheduled for September in Warsaw.

Trzaskowski said Poland will focus on its eastern neighbors given the "volatile" situation on the EU's southern borders.

He added that Warsaw will insist that the 10 billion euro ($14.3 billion) fund proposed by the European Commission to assist EU's neighbors over the next two years be evenly divided between eastern and southern partner countries.

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