Meeting Russia’s challenge to EU’s Eastern Partnership
Thorvaldur Gylfason, Per Magnus Wijkman 25 January 2014
The EU’s Eastern Partnership is currently in turmoil. Armenia and Ukraine – two of the four partner countries (which also include Moldova and Georgia) did not initial association agreements. This column discusses the role of Russia in discouraging such negotiations. The soft power of the EU was apparently no match for the hard power of Russia in the cases of Armenia and Ukraine. A successful partnership would require peaceful international relations between the four partners, and solving their conflicts with Russia.
EU’s Eastern Partnership is in turmoil after its Summit in Vilnius on 29 November 2013. Only Georgia and Moldova of the four partner countries that had successfully negotiated Association agreements with the EU, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs), initialed them at the Summit.1 In September, President Sargsyan, motivated by the threatened loss of Russia’s security guarantee vis-à-vis Azerbaijan, had informed the EU that Armenia would not initial its Association agreement but instead join Russia’s proposed Eurasian Customs Union.
Politics and economics
Russia, EU, Ukraine, Eastern Partnership