EU Eyes Closer Ties With Armenia Amid Tensions Over Brussels Summit Declaration

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Minsk said on November 21 that Foreign Minister Uladzimer Makei would lead its delegation.

"Trade between the European Union and partner countries, as well as among partner countries, will be supported, including through implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas for the three partners concerned Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine", the declaration stresses.

The final text will also apparently fail to mention the war between Kyiv and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, a conflict that has killed more than 10,000 people since April 2014.

Most of the sanctions, including those on Lukashenka, were lifted in February 2016.

But it states that the "summit participants remain deeply concerned about the continued violations of principles of worldwide law in many parts of the region".

"The resolution of conflicts, building trust and good neighbourly relations are essential to economic and social development and cooperation".

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In this regard, he called on the leaders of the EU member states to build the EU-Ukraine partnership on the basis of "smart differentiation, not rigid uniformity; common values, not technocratic short-sightedness; and fearless ambitions, not clumsy excuses".

But there is little appetite in the European Union for eastward expansion, particularly after Dutch voters rejected the first attempt at an association accord with Ukraine in an April 2016 referendum.

To note, the 5th Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit will discuss the ways to further strengthen cooperation in the four priority areas agreed in the last summit in Riga in 2015, focusing on the tangible benefits delivered to the citizens of the six Eastern Partnership countries.

That language that was enough to secure approval from Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Global Strategy has outlined the territorial integrity of the European Union member and neighboring countries within their internationally recognized borders.

These include "facilitating access to local currency lending" for local small and medium-sized enterprises, supporting "increased access to high-speed broadband", and "progressing towards reduced roaming tariffs among the partner countries".