The foreign ministers of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have expressed interest in establishing an “additional format” to the Eastern Partnership (EaP), the EU’s neighbourhood policy initiative involving the three countries, as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus, the Ukrainian press has reported.
“Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia were ready for deeper sectoral integration with the EU in the areas of energy, trade, transport, digital economy, customs and security cooperation,” wrote Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform, quoting a statement from Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s foreign minister (pictured above).
Speaking at a conference of EaP foreign ministers in Stockholm, Mr Prystaiko added that “Ukraine and other associated partners seek to gain EU membership prospects and ensure the deepening of differentiation, which should be determined by the ambitions” of the EaP countries, stressing that Ukraine is strongly interested in “in revising and modernising the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and the terms of the DCFTA [Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement].”
Taking the “multi-speed integration of participating countries into the EU” into account, applying a “differentiation principle” within the Eastern Partnership framework would be the “most relevant” amid the current political situation, the statement adds.
While the EaP officially serves as means to enhance the EU’s neighbourhood policy, the three aforementioned countries have gone further, aspiring to be members of the European bloc.