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KIEV, May 29. /TASS/. Ukraine's ambassador to Brussels, Konstantin Yeliseyev, on Friday said he believed European Union policy-makers should review their Eastern Partnership policy and separate Azerbaijan, Belarus and Armenia from the other three of the bloc's six eastern partner states.
"First of all, we can pursue a differentiation policy within the Eastern Partnership. I think it is time to separate these three countries - Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova - from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus," Yeliseyev told a forum in Kiev.
"We have tried to do it at the Riga summit. We have by the way agreed on a trilateral statement regarding Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, which means there is a clear differentiation," he said.
Last week’s Eastern Partnership summit in the Latvian capital Riga ended without sensations. A joint declaration signed by European Union leaders and officials from the six ex-Soviet neighbours contained no promises of visa-free travel to the EU for Georgians and Ukrainians or references to their future membership of the European Union. Neither did it address the issue of sanctions against Russia.
At the same time, the meeting confirmed that a free trade zone between the European Union and Ukraine would take effect on January 1, 2016.
Belarus and Armenia refused to sign the summit’s declaration because of some terms used in the text, including "Russia’s aggression in Ukraine" and "annexation of Crimea".
The European Union launched the Eastern Partnership project in May 2009. This sought to foster democratic and market economy reforms in six former Soviet states of Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The programme offers participating countries closer economic integration with the European Union, provided they meet specific conditions.