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June 21st, 2008. Posted in News from Belarus

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Leaders of 27 EU countries approve project aimed at increasing cooperation with six eastern neighbor countries

Eastern Partnership, levaneuski.orgThe leaders of 27 member countries on June 19 approved the European Union’s “Eastern Partnership” project aimed at increasing cooperation between the EU and six eastern neighbor countries, including Belarus. Based on the EU’s European Neighborhood Policy, the Eastern Partnership is viewed as a new multilateral forum between the EU and Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, which would forge closer economic and political ties, lead to visa-free travel deals and the establishment of a free trade zone, and prepare the countries for EU membership. Belarus would be involved in the Eastern Partnership “at the expert level” because, unlike the other states, it does not fully participate in the European Neighborhood Policy.

To enjoy the benefits of the project, Belarus would need to fulfill the EU’s 12 conditions regarding democratization. An action plan for the country’s involvement in the European Neighborhood Policy also has to be put in place.

In early June, the draft Eastern Partnership plan, which was jointly devised by Sweden and Poland, was sent to the Belarusian foreign ministry.

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Note: Translated by means of machine translation. The original text in Russian is on a site www.levonevsky.org or www.levonevski.net
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