Latvian Foreign Ministry denies Eastern Partnership summit anti-Russian

  • 2015-04-25
  • from wire reports and TBT staff, RIGA

The Eastern Partnership initiative has never and will never be directed against a third country, including Russia, Latvian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ivars Lasis told LETA.

Asked to comment on Russian Foreign Ministry's recent statement that the Eastern Partnership initiative is ''anti-Russia'', Lasis said that the aim of the Eastern Partnership is to develop closer relations between the EU and six partner countries, thus promoting stability and security throughout the  region.

''The Eastern Partnership has never and will never be directed towards any third party or country, including Russia. We completely deny these claims,'' Lasis explained, adding that Latvia has explained the aims of the Eastern Partnership initiative to Russian representatives on various occasions, as well as plans related to the Riga Summit, and has emphasised  that the summit will not be confrontational.

''We are ready to continue demonstrating our openness on this matter and will continue to explain to Russia the objectives and plans of the Eastern Partnership initiative with regards to partner countries,'' Lasis added.

As reported, Russia has expressed its displeasure about the EU's Eastern Partnership summit to be held in Latvia next month, calling it "anti-Russian."

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich said on Friday that the Kremlin is "very negative" about the summit and will have a "very tough and principled" reaction to it because "the essence of this partnership has a clearly anti-Russian colouring."

The Eastern Partnership summit on May 21-22 in Riga will bring together officials from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine and EU members, with the goal of strengthening economic and political relations.

EU officials have repeatedly told Russia that the EU Neighborhood Policy -- of which the Eastern Partnership is part -- is not targeted against anyone.

The EU has signed Association Agreements with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, all of whose governments have stated that their ultimate aim is to become member states.