German Chancellor Angela Merkel highlighted Russia’s increasingly important role for Armenia and Azerbaijan as she addressed the new EU partnership agreements with the countries on the sidelines of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit.
“We will cooperate with Azerbaijan and Armenia, concluding partnership agreements,” she told reporters, admitting at the same time that the documents are not so intensive as the Association Agreements.
Meantime Merkel noted that the new cooperation deals are of equal value and importance in terms of building future relations with both countries.
She emphasized Russia’s pivotal role also for Belarus, a member state of the Eurasian Economic Union and an EaP participant country.
“Clearly, the relationship with Russia plays a pivotal role for all those countries. I feel really very happy for this opportunity to conduct a discussion today to know more about the situation in those countries, and I am hopeful that the summit will be a success,” she added.
The fifth EaP summit, which opened in Brussels earlier today, is attended by the presidents or prime ministers of the member countries.
Before the start of the event, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas of Estonia (which now chairs the Union) delivered addresses to welcome the participants.
The Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement, a new framework cooperation document initialed between the European Union and Armenia in March, is expected to be signed on the sidelines of the event.
In the run up to the 5th EaP summit, EU outlined 20 pivotal outcomes for the member states for 2020; the summit is expected to clarify the most important guidelines.