Ukraine is ready to help Belarusian civil society maintain access to Eastern Partnership activities and projects, as well as to promote further dialogue and contacts between Belarusian civil society and the European Union.
“The decision to suspend participation in the EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative demonstrates disrespect for the values of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights on which the Eastern Partnership is based. Most importantly, it contradicts the interests of the Belarusian people and their historical belonging to the family of European nations,” reads the statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on the decision of Belarus to suspend participation in the EU's Eastern Partnership initiative.
Ukraine’s Ministry underscores that this unilateral step in no way deprives the Belarusian people of their right to rapprochement with the European Union and cooperation within the Eastern Partnership on the basis of European values and with a view to strengthen the European idea in the region.
“At the same time, the current situation in the Eastern Partnership on the eve of its forthcoming summit shows the urgent need to rethink the strategic goal of this important EU initiative, strengthen its geopolitical significance, and open up European prospects for those member states that seek them. This will promote the development of cooperation of all states in the region on the basis of European values, strengthen their resistance to external challenges,” says the statement.
It is noted that for this purpose Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova launched a format of enhanced cooperation – the Associated Trio. It aims, among other things, to develop the principle of differentiation within the framework of the Eastern Partnership, to define new far-reaching goals for the integration of Eastern partners into the EU, to strengthen their security and resilience to hybrid threats.
“The Associated Trio is set to be at the forefront of the Eastern Partnership’s development in order to fulfill the European aspirations of its member states and ensure further rapprochement with the EU,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine stressed.
On June 28, the Foreign Ministry of Belarus announced the suspension of participation in the European Union's Eastern Partnership initiative. The reason for this position is "the inadmissibility of sanctions as an instrument of pressure on a sovereign and independent state."
Belarus also starts a procedure to terminate the readmission agreement with the EU. The Permanent Representative of Belarus to the EU is recalled to Minsk for consultations.
The European Union expressed regret over the Lukashenko regime's decision to withdraw from the Eastern Partnership program, noting that the move contradicts the interests of the Belarusians and is aimed at further isolating the country.