On Thursday, April 24, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite will travel to Prague to attend a high level meeting to mark the 5th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership, reports ELTA. During the meeting, the heads of state of EU and Eastern Partnership countries will discuss how to ensure the continuity and efficiency of the Eastern Partnership program in view of the newly emerging challenges to the region's security and stability.
The presidents of nine EU and EP countries - Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan - will attend the summit. Taking part in the meeting will also be the deputy prime minister of Sweden, acting foreign minister of Ukraine, and European Commissioner Stefan Fuele.
After the Vilnius Summit last November, Eastern Partnership countries encountered new security and stability challenges: attempts to prevent them from choosing freely their path of development, threatening by military, political and economic measures, and seeking to redraw Ukraine's borders by force. In Prague, the heads of state will seek solutions how to better exploit the tools of the Eastern Partnership program to overcome these challenges.
Among the other issues to be discussed at the meeting will also be the signing of Association Agreements with Eastern Partners and their effective implementation. Association Agreements were initialed with Moldova and Georgia during the Vilnius Summit and are sought to be signed with these countries already in summer. In March in Brussels, the European Union and Ukraine signed political provisions of the Association Agreement. Free trade agreement is planned for signing after the presidential election in Ukraine which will take place on May 25. The signature of these agreements will mark a new quality stage in the EU-Eastern Partnership relationship.
In Prague, Grybauskaite will hold bilateral talks with other leaders of EU and Eastern Partnership countries to review regional security, energy and bilateral cooperation issues.