MOSCOW, May 22. /TASS/. Leaders of the European Union have failed to induce their "Eastern partners" to support the thesis about ‘illegal annexation of Crimea,’ Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the international committee of Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house, told TASS on Friday, commenting on the final declaration of the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga.
The key intrigue of the summit, according to Kosachev, was the wording of a provision on Crimea, over which the EU leaders "were putting the squeeze on their Eastern partners for two days." Moreover, he said the entire 13-page declaration was meant to condemn the "illegal annexation of Crimea." As a proof, he cited Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite, who had said that the declaration could not have been adopted without it. But in the long run the thesis of ‘illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol’ was reduced to stating the EU position it had previously expressed at the Ukraine-EU summit on April 27. "And it is a major nuance which signals that not all EU’s Eastern partners are ready to renounce real relations with Russia for the sake of mythical prospects of European Union membership," he said.
The lawmaker noted that no considerable progress had been reached on the issue of visa-free travel regime with the European Union, "the only area where Georgia and Ukraine could have hoped for some progress." "The declaration makes this issue dependent on a positive report of the European Commission by the end of 2015. In other words, it has been left to the discretion of the European Commission," Kosachev said.
"As a result, things haven’t moved an inch: applicants were given further promises, Brussels reserved its decision," he said, adding that the document did not even say anything about Ukraine’s European perspectives "the new leaders of that country have been using as Maidan slogans all the time." "To tell it like it is, much cry and little wool," he said.
The Eastern Partnership summit was held in the Latvian capital city of Riga on May 21-22. Despite Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s objections, the ‘illegal annexation of Crime’s was mentioned in final declaration. However the wording was toned down to the following: "The EU reaffirms its positions taken in the Joint Statement made at the EU-Ukraine Summit on 27 April, including on the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. The Summit participants reaffirm their positions in relation to 'UN General Assembly Resolution 68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine."
Participants in the summit also called on all parties to "swiftly and fully" implement the Minsk agreements and release all hostages and unlawfully detained persons. They noted progress in Georgia’s and Ukraine’s movement towards a visa-free travel regime with the European Union but agreed that a decision of visa abolishment for these countries would be taken on the results of the European Commission’s report in late 2015. A separate provision of the declaration was dedicated to issues of gas supplies. Participants in the summit "acknowledge the progress made on major energy infrastructure projects and interconnectivity enhancements put in place since the last summit, including opening natural gas reverse flow capacities to Ukraine from Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, the particular role played by Azerbaijan as well as the contribution by others, including Georgia, in the realisation of the Southern Gas Corridor," the declaration said.