EU Agrees on Riga Summit Declaration with Visa-Free Prospects for Ukraine and Georgia

The permanent representatives of 28 countries of the European Union have agreed to adopt a more ambitious declaration at the summit of the Eastern Partnership on Wednesday, Polish news agency PAP has reported, citing its own sources among European diplomats.

“The Riga Declaration has been agreed, and more ambitious wording has been achieved,” the source said being quoted by the agency.

The agency notes that the document includes the acknowledgement of the European aspirations and European choice of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, and outlines more ambitious goals with regard to abolition of visa regime for Ukraine and Georgia.

The agency also reported that a number of diplomats of several European countries were initially against the proposal.

“The compromise draft of the final document of the Summit emphasizes that both the EU and Eastern partners attach great importance to cooperation within the Eastern Partnership framework. It is noted that the EU’s partners have the “sovereign right to freely choose the level of ambition and the goals to which they aspire in their relations with the EU,” the agency reported.

The draft document, which was obtained by a PAP correspondent, also highlights the EU’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states of the Eastern Partnership, and efforts aimed at resolving the conflict in Ukraine.

However, there is no direct criticism of Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, or Moscow’s annexation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. According to unofficial information, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia intend to adopt a separate declaration following the results of the summit in Riga in which they will confirm their goal towards the EU membership, PAP reported.


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