Vilnius Summit: Who Says What

World | November 28, 2013, Thursday // 13:24|  views

The third summit of the Eastern Partnership begins its work in Vilnius Thursday. Here is where each of the former Soviet Republics stands. - See more at:

The third summit of the Eastern Partnership begins its work in Vilnius Thursday. Here are some of the reactions and expectations of key political figures and analysts from across Europe right before its start.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz

"I congratulate Moldova and Georgia on the planned initialing of the Association Agreements with the EU, I am deeply disappointed, however, that Ukraine and Armenia have abandoned plans to sign the Association Agreements at the summit. It is especially regrettable that the countries' decisions to reconsider their choices have been made under external pressure. We should say clearly and loudly that the economic and political pressure exerted by Russia against our eastern partners is simply unacceptable."

EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fuele

"A failure to sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine at a summit in Vilnius will be a missed chance for Ukraine, and it is a missed chance for the people of the European Union."

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius

“But the summit is not just about Ukraine. We will sign initial association agreements with Georgia and Moldova, we are making good progress in the visa discussions, all the countries are fully engaged.

Of course I'm a little disappointed, but we will keep moving forward. And we still don't know how things will play themselves out.“

Amanda Paul, the European Policy Center in Brussels

"I think [threats of trade retaliation] has become quite a significant fault line. This is a region that ultimately does want to be transformed, it wants to be part of Europe. But Russia is holding on with everything it's got.

"And it's very good at holding on with everything it's got, whereas the EU is not so good at pulling on the other end of the rope."

Romas Svedas, Vilnius University

"This is all about geopolitics. Let's not pretend otherwise. Russia is fighting to protect its dominance."

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Tags: Belarus, Armenia, CAA, Common Aviation Area, aviation agreement, azerbaijan, visa facilitation agreement, moldova, Georgia, DCFTAs, Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, Kiev, heavyweight boxing champion, Vitali Klitschko, Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform party, UDAR, Viktor Yanukovych, president, Association Agreement, opposition, Arseniy Yatseniuk, Oleh Tiahnybok, Ukraine, EU, Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, President of the European Commission, Lithuania, Vilnius, Eastern Partnership, Russia, summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande


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