Strasbourg comment: Eastern partnership priorities

Ivo Vajgl is calling on the EU to engage more fully with its eastern partners.

By Ivo Vajgl

13 Mar 2014

The most important message of the report on assessing and setting priorities for EU relations with eastern partnership countries, in the light of what is going on in and around Ukraine, is that the EU as a whole should show more interest and engagement for relations with the countries in this adjacent region.

As Ukraine is coming closer to the EU - and we support its free and democratic choice, sovereignty and territorial integrity - it is up to us, in our political and diplomatic capacity, to support other countries and members of the eastern partnership in retaining their pro-European direction.

One may say that a new edition of the cold war has already been initiated, with the illegitimate way Russia is handling their relations with Ukraine, especially on Crimea. But a cold war is not an acceptable option. Russia should find its way to respect international law, and both the EU and Russia should strive to establish relations which are to the benefit of both of us and our peoples.

Instead of letting new 'frozen conflicts' emerge, the EU should engage with more energy in resolving critical situations - well-known frozen conflicts along the Russian borders, which at any given time can explode with far-reaching consequences for regional stability and world peace.

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