Eastern Partnership

A Non-Committal Suitor

Posted on

May 7, 2009

By Sergei Balashov

An EU Bid to Muscle in on Russia’s Turf, or an Effort to Enrich and Stabilize Europe’s Borders?

This week saw the inaugural conference of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership program, an initiative meant to improve ties between Brussels and the former-Soviet republics. But European leaders are making it clear that it is not a stepping stone to membership, leaving some of the former-Soviet republics unsure of Europe’s commitment, and making Russia suspicious of the EU’s motives.

Of the new countries that emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union, only the three Baltic states have managed to successfully join the European Union. Other former-Soviet republics have found it much harder to find acceptance in Brussels, and none of them holds official candidate status, even though some have expressed the strongest desire to join. Read the rest of this entry »