Radio Liberty: France rejects suggestions that Eastern Partnership could lead to EU membership

The Eastern Partnership initiative was created 10 years ago., 28 Jan 2020 - 11:57, Tbilisi,Georgia

Radio Liberty reports that France has rejected suggestions that the EU’s Eastern Partnership, which unites Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, could lead to EU membership, insisting that half of its future funding goes to environmental investments according to the country’s two documents dated October 2019 and January 2020.

Radio Liberty says that Moscow has expressed “strong misgivings” about the Eastern Partnership program, arguing that closer economic ties between the EU and its main trading partners could harm Russian interests.

The media outlet reports that French document from October states that ‘our spirit of responsibility must collectively guard us from fostering illusions or ambiguity among our partners about the purpose of the partnership.”

It [also] said the partnership is based on economic and political cooperation, but excludes all prospects or all mechanisms of EU integration or membership. [The document says that] ‘the objective is to reinforce the resilience of our partners, especially in the fields of rule of law, the fight against corruption, and modernizing the economy.”

Radio Liberty has cited a diplomat from an eastern EU member state by saying that France “doesn’t want to do anything in the neighbourhood that would potentially upset Moscow.”