He strongly condemns the European Union’s Russian aggression in Ukraine and will never recognize the illegal annexation of the Crimea, said Donald Tusk, President of the European Council in Brussels on Friday after the summit of Heads of State or Government of the EU and the so-called Eastern Partnership countries.
In a press conference, Tusk reported that five Ukrainian soldiers died in the Donyec basin on Thursday and this again highlights the tragic consequences of the Russian aggression in Ukraine.
He added that frozen and active armed conflicts in partner countries “cause serious difficulties and hinder development,” and underlined the EU’s support for the territorial unity, independence and sovereignty of these states.
He stressed that “they are” step by step unite Europe “with partnerships with Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia and Ukraine, which significantly improves relations between the parties’ citizens and their businesses.
Tusk has expressed the view that these countries have the sovereign right to choose what goals they want to follow in their EU relations.
He explained that he wanted to have “more ambition” in the language of the closing statement adopted at the meeting, but the most important was the unity of the signatories.
The President of the European Council stated that cooperation is not directed against Moscow, a “non-geopolitical beauty contest between the EU and Russia” but “partnership between sovereign countries, political, economic and military threats or without coercion”.
Nevertheless, he added that he spent the first half of his life in the “Soviet bloc” and the second in the “free world” and “if it were a beauty contest, he would not hesitate to choose the second for a second.”
Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, said that the Eastern Partnership was primarily about “bringing our societies closer” and raising their standard of living, but reiterated its earlier statement: today’s “no enlargement or accession summit”.
The head of the Brussels body also called the Comprehensive Partnership Agreement with Armenia, which will be signed on Friday, a serious achievement.
At the press conference, Estonia’s head of state, Jüri Ratas, the EU’s presidency, said that a strong and stable neighborhood would make the European Union stronger and more stable.
According to expert assessments, the most important part of the final declarations accepted is that the parties “recognize” the European elections and European aspirations of the countries concerned, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia “but did not change the possibility of EU accession.
There is no mention of the Ukrainian conflict or Russia, but the signatories have just made new efforts to resolve the conflicts in the region.
In a nearly 20-page document, a text on the Hungarian proposal, including the Ukrainian Education Act, included a text that the signatories should respect the existing rights of national minorities, not discriminate against members of minorities and take full account of relevant reforms the advice of the bodies of the Council of Europe.