Speaking on the steps of Europa building at the start of the Eastern Partnership Summit (EaP) in Brussels today, the Italian vice-minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mario Giro, reiterated that the partnership does not aim to antagonize Russia.
“There are some countries that are closer to Moscow, and others, less so. Russia is an important partner in an international crisis and nobody should consider this summit as being hostile towards any particular country. The EaP does not concern itself with expansion, but with EU influence towards its partners,” said Giro.
The EaP is a joint initiative involving the EU and six Eastern European partners: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia. The aim of the project is to promote economic development and market opportunities, as well as to strengthen institutions and the Rule of Law alongside encouraging mobility and people-to-people contacts.