Eastern Partnership faces Russian challenge
By Messenger Staff
Friday, June 1The EU Eastern Partnership programme – which includes Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Belarus, and Ukraine – was created in order to conduct special negotiations and create a unique path towards European integration for post-Soviet countries.
All Eastern Partnership states have distinctive challenges that require special help in meeting EU membership criteria; the biggest of those challenges has been Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin is attempting to create his own multi-national organization in the region, which he calls the Eurasian Union. He has reached agreements with Kazakhstan and Belarus, and is courting Ukraine.
European analysts view the Eurasian Union as a response to the EU's further penetration into the former Soviet sphere.