The decision of Belarus to suspend participation in the EU's Eastern Partnership (EaP) initiative testifies to disrespect for the values of democracy, the rule of law and human rights on which the Eastern Partnership is based, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has said.
"Ukraine is convinced that this unilateral step in no way deprives the Belarusian people of their right to rapprochement with the European Union and cooperation within the framework of the Eastern Partnership based on European values and with the aim of strengthening the European idea in our region," the ministry said in a statement.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that the suspension of participation in the Eastern Partnership is contrary to the interests of the Belarusian people and their "historical belonging to the family of European nations."
Thus, the statement notes that Ukraine is ready to help the Belarusian civil society maintain access to the Eastern Partnership projects and facilitate further dialogue and contacts of the Belarusian civil society with the EU.
"At the same time, the current situation in the Eastern Partnership on the eve of its upcoming summit testifies to the urgent need to rethink the strategic goal of this important EU initiative, to enhance its geopolitical significance and open up European prospects for those participating states that want it. This will contribute to the cooperation development of all states in the region on the basis of European values, and strengthen their resilience against external challenges," the Foreign Ministry said.
The Foreign Ministry said that this is precisely why Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova have launched the Associated Trio format.
"The Associated Trio is determined to be at the forefront of the Eastern Partnership development in order to fulfill the European aspirations of its member states and ensure further rapprochement with the EU," the statement said.
As reported, on June 28, the press service of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry announced that Belarus was suspending participation in the EU's Eastern Partnership initiative.