The European Union's Eastern Partnership policy has never been and will not be directed against Russia, says Head of the EU Delegation to Russia Vygaudas Ušackas.
"I'd like to recall that Russia was invited to participate in the Eastern Partnership, but it chose to decline this proposal, as it sought to develop a different type of partnership. The Eastern Partnership is not directed, and will not be directed against Russia," Ušackas said in an interview with Interfax in the run-up to an Eastern Partnership summit opening in Riga on May 21.
Eastern Partnership is a common initiative of the EU and six countries that were formerly Soviet republics, i.e. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
"As concerns the so-called choice between the EU and Russia, let me stress that this is a false analogy. The partner-countries decide for themselves what they prefer, and the EU respects their decision," Ušackas said.
"The summit in Riga is an important event for many reasons," Ušackas said. "There will also be specific decisions, for instance, a new mechanism of support for small and medium-sized businesses, the assessment of progress made, and work on differentiating relations according to the partner-countries' wishes. What is most important is that we should continue the work that we started together," he said.
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