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Prague Hosting Eastern Partnership Gathering

The Czech capital, Prague, is hosting a two-day gathering of the European Union's Eastern Partnership program to boost ties, despite the crisis in program member Ukraine.

The presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Moldova will attend the Prague meeting, as well as acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya. Eastern Partnership member Belarus is boycotting the event because President Alyaksandr Lukashenka was not invited.

The EU will be represented by officials from the Czech Republic, Austria, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia.

Moldova will be granted visa-free travel to the European Union later this month and will sign an Association Agreement with the bloc in June. Georgia also hopes to sign an Association Agreement by June.

Nevertheless, the Eastern Partnership program is strained by growing opposition from Russia.

Moscow is pressuring its neighbors to join a Russia-led Customs Union.
With reporting by AP
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