Discover the World News Forecast . . . FIRST in Foresight Journalism

4th Eastern Partnership Summit offers carrot to former Soviet nations

May 21, 2015 - LATVIA

Riga hosts the 4th European Union Eastern Partnership Summit, with Ukraine and Georgia anticipating visa-free travel to Schengen states from the meeting and Belarus making overtures for similar concessions.

In the months following Russia's assault on Ukraine, Belarus has become increasingly interested in better trade and diplomatic relations with the European Union, but the country's authoritarian regime remains a barrier. The bloc has set terms for easing Belarus travel restrictions. They include freeing political prisoners and election reforms.

EU terms for Ukraine include the introduction of biometric passports for its citizens, and Ukraine and Georgia must undertake reforms that include judicial co-operation with the European Union.

Eastern Partnership Summits are held every two years with the aim of supporting reforms in Eastern European countries and promoting closer political association and economic integration with the European Union.

Georgia, Ukraine May Get Visa-Free Regime With EU At Riga Summit (RFERL 16 Dec 2014)

EU Eastern Partnership

Belarus may start talks on visa-free EU travel (European Observer 12 Jan 2015)

Date written/update: 2015-04-20