Friday, May 27, 2016


News

'Tricky' European Partnership Summit Kicks Off In Warsaw

German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian at the European Partnership summit in Prague in May 2009.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian at the European Partnership summit in Prague in May 2009.
By Rikard Jozwiak
WARSAW -- The Eastern Partnership summit has kicked off in Warsaw amid fears that the six Eastern neighbors are slipping further away from a European Union that has turned its attention elsewhere.
 
Leaders or officials from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine are currently meeting several of their EU counterparts at a two-day gathering in the Polish capital that is expected to yield few concrete results. 
 
One focus will be on Ukraine, with hopes for a clear timeframe to finalize negotiations for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) and association agreement with Kyiv, and for a launch date for similar negotiations with Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova. 
 
Many politicians have raised concerns about the ongoing abuse-of-power trial of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and how this would affect the trade negotiations, with France recently demanding a suspension. 
 
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk met with the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on the sidelines of the summit and told journalists afterward that the possible signing of a DCFTA later this year would be "a coronation of years of hard work." 
 
He also said that he had discussed EU worries about the situation in Ukraine with Yanukovych.
 
"We are also discussing the situation in Ukraine and I gave the president my opinion and the opinion of my partners in the EU. It concerned relations between government and the opposition and the democratic standards which might have bearing on the integration process with the EU," Tusk said.
 
"The level of democratic standards and human rights are very high when it comes to countries that aspire to European integration. I am happy that the president understood our fears."
 
Early Problems
 
The summit got off to a rocky start with the announcement that Belarusian Foreign Minister Serhiy Martynau would not be attending. Martynau is one of the few senior Minsk officials not subject to an EU travel visa ban, but in an apparent diplomatic snub, Minsk decided at the last moment to send its Warsaw ambassador, Wiktar Gaisenak, instead.
 
However, Gaisenak will probably not have access to all the sessions at the summit. Maja Kocijancic, the spokesperson for EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, told RFE/RL that the EU regretted Martynau's absence.
 
"We understand that [Foreign Minister Syarhey Martynau] is not coming and we regret this because we believe the summit would be a good opportunity to give our very clear messages directly to Belarusian authorities," Kocijancic said.
 
"You know these positions very well. We want to see the release and the rehabilitation of all political prisoners. We remain open for critical engagement with Belarus, obviously under the clear understandings of our demand regarding the political prisoners."
 
Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski, who spoke at a pre-summit press conference in Warsaw, described Martynau's decision not to attend as "another step in Belarus's self-isolation." He said Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's relations with Europe will "be like his relations with his people." 
 
EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy met with several Belarusian human rights defenders in Warsaw and sent a clear signal to Minsk afterwards.
 
"We are concerned about recent reports regarding the health conditions of those still in jail and the pressure exercised on them," Van Rompuy said.
 
"I will urge the Belarus ambassador tomorrow to take this message back to Minsk and we urge the Belarus authorities to address the situation in the country in line with the European Union's established position. We continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to react as appropriate."
 
The summit draft declaration also includes strong words on the ongoing persecution of the democratic opposition in Belarus, though it mentions no new measures.
 
Leaders "express their deep concern at the deteriorating human rights, democracy, and rule of law situation in Belarus and call for the immediate release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners and the start of a political dialogue with the opposition," the document says. "They also call on the Belarusian authorities to fully respect their commitments to freedom of the media." 

Dwindling Interest
 
The summit comes at a time when the political situation in the six countries in many ways looks less stable than two years ago when the Eastern Partnership was launched. 
 
Now, revolutionary changes in the Arab world and the ongoing economic crisis in the eurozone are in the spotlight and enthusiasm for clinching deals with eastern neighbors appears to have subsided somewhat in many member states.
 
Adding to the sense of flagging interest, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy will be absent from the summit, leaving German Chancellor Angela Merkel as the only head of government from a big member state.
 
French and German diplomats have indicated that the Eastern Partnership program is supposed to work as a substitute for real EU membership, whereas Poland sees it has a step towards a future eastern enlargement.
 
Speaking to RFE/RL, the Polish EU ambassador, Jan Tombinski, conceded that Warsaw's goal looks hard to achieve at the moment. 
 
"The European Union goes through a difficult period now. We are so much occupied with our domestic issues in the sense of saving the euro, finding new ways in order to trigger growth and to prepare the European Union for better times. Therefore many countries are not willing now to open new possibilities for enlargement," Tombinski said.
 
The draft summit declaration is a further sign that the EU is currently unwilling to entertain the thought of further expansion -- it omits references to Article 49 of the EU treaty, stipulating that all European countries can become EU member.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: vlad from: usa - moldova
September 29, 2011 13:49
Eastern Partnership means nothing now. To the best some trade agreements. Years for easing visa requirements. No EU membership next 50-100 years. If Romania and Bulgaria were not allowed into Shengen area then Ukraine or Moldova have nothing to hope for. At the same time EU is falling apart itself.

Russia might fill the area. EU does not really care. EU wants to do business with resources rich Russia.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
September 29, 2011 18:51
Do you mean, Vlad, Russia that masterminding it, ready "fill the area"
as Russian occupiers?
Or Russia will withdraw from occupied territories and will repent?

Are you talking in a language of division of Eastern Europe between Russia
and Germano-Austria (secret pact of 1954-56)?
Is USA already defeited as last strong power that able to prevent it?
Are your Russian nationals and proxies controll USA government
that much now?
In Response

by: Alex from: LA
September 29, 2011 21:25
Konstantin you are nuts!
In Response

by: nstantin from: Los Angeles
September 30, 2011 20:39
Alex, did you mean "nuts", or the last "krepkiy oreshek"
that Great Russia didn't yet cracked?
It sound more like that.
I meant it:
Withdraw from Georgia and Caucasus, future regional "Common
Wealth of whole Caucasus", lead by Georgian Iveria;
Withdraw from Moldova and stop choke Ukraine, part of another future regional "CIS";
Stop choke Central Asia, another future regional "CIS";
Stop choke Eastern Europe and Balkans, future regional "CIS"
formations In editional World and Euro-Asia trade and other forms of relationships.

Mold, your suggestion is too realistic and agly!
Do you suggest new USSR as Russian Empire, expanding further
into "RU" and "EU"?
Not as grafic as genocide and desecration so far, but as ugly, if
Euro-Asia would accept it and Russia would cover it up by "bigger"
than "Russian Union" and "Yugoslavia of Tito" Empire, and would call
it voluntary marriage "Intermarrum" - to convince USA that it is "not so
hostile" to Russia.

USA might believe you, "mold", after all I am the last "neraskolotyiy
oreshek" that saying truth, according to "Alex" from LA.

The rest of your 7 lines are non-realistc indeed, unless you rather
adjust it to my suggestions, add to it "United States and Cantons of
Siberia and far East" as part of overall picture, with participation of
all CIS and Eastern Europe nations and nationalities and return
to them their investments and property there, and unless, in spirit,
you will absorb ways of history - look:
"WorldFreedomAndTruth.info", picturtes.



by: mold
September 30, 2011 01:08
my non-realistic suggestion:
a union of eastern states
not EU and not RU
like Yugoslavia, but like, bigger
like Intermarum, but not so hostile

I suppose it would never happen, due to economic realities and other details like that. I think the EU has accidentally created itself along "Christendom" lines that exclude Orthodox europe. Also, I think Russia is just doing it wrong, by holding onto its Siberian and Caucasian empires, ruling over Muslims and native Pagans. I imagine this pan-Orthodox eastern federal union establishing itself as Russia disintigrates; and maybe the ethnic Russian states left can later join up. I also think the capital should be in Moldova, and the presidential requirements should include "vampire bloodlines".
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
October 10, 2011 04:20
To Mold:
I think that Orthodoxy, as many other denominations, play role -
among the many links that relate the people and the nations -
unless one over-did it as new (or Maltusian) Global Crusade
(alone, or with West-East imperial resurectors).

Wrong "bloodlines" - Drakula was Varanga Boyar, mixed with
Hungarian-Romanian Count - he fought for freedom against
Ottomans, like Medio-Hanian Gun - he was as brutal as
Ottomans called for, like Varanga Boyar.

To "armeniancause":
If your call "Armenian cause" to instigate national feude among
ethnografic groups in Azerbaijan, what sort of Armenian are you?
Former pre-Georgian Kingdoms in Caspean Albania, mixed with
Turkmen, has number of Ibero-Caucasians (all Georgia is made
from them) - what is your point?
All you mentioned are Ibero-Caucasians, as are Georgians and
Erevanian Armenians.

Are you Urartu from Bagramyan battalion, ran from Abkhazia?
Looking for new baby-killers from outline provinces of Georgia
and Azerbaijan - for Russia?

by: www.armeniancause.net from: web
September 30, 2011 04:35

I interpret this picture as following:

Angela: Do you mean you can guarantee us the flow of oil & gas for free from Bazaarbaijan?

Serge: No problem Fraulein Angela, after you allow us to get rid of the Ilham Aliyev's dictatorship in the neighboring Sultanate, Europe will be getting free and uninterrupted shipments of oil & gas as long as the Tolysh, Lezgi, Tat, Udin and other native peoples now under the Azeri Turk yoke have freedom.

Angela: why do you care about these little people?

Most Popular

Editor's Picks