Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership summit (Riga, 21–22 May 2015)
The Heads of State or Government and the representatives of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, the representatives of the European Union and the Heads of State or Government and representatives of its Member States have met in Riga on 21–22 May 2015. The President of the European Parliament and representatives of the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Conference of Regional and Local Authorities of the Eastern Partnership and the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly were also present at the Summit.
The participants of the Riga summit reconfirm the high importance they attach to the Eastern Partnership as a specific dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy. They reaffirm their shared vision of this strategic and ambitious Partnership as one based on mutual interests and commitments and supporting sustained reform processes in the Eastern European partner countries, States participating in the Eastern Partnership. Summit participants recommit themselves to strengthen democracy, rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as the principles and norms of international law, which are and have been at the heart of this Partnership since it was launched as a common endeavour of the Member States of the European Union and their Eastern European partners. They recall that the Eastern Partnership is founded on shared ownership, responsibility, differentiation and mutual accountability. They underline the importance of the engagement of all society in turning this shared vision into reality.
In the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership, the Summit participants reaffirm the sovereign right of each partner freely to choose the level of ambition and the goals to which it aspires in its relations with the European Union. It is for the EU and its sovereign partners to decide on how they want to proceed in their relations. The Summit participants underline that strengthening democracy and enabling functioning market economies, improving macroeconomic stability and the business environment, as well as enhancing interconnectivity, mobility and people-to-people contacts open new prospects for cooperation, contributing also to trade, growth and competitiveness. This serves the shared commitment to stability, security and prosperity of the European Union, Eastern European partners and our entire continent.
The acts against Ukraine and the events in Georgia since 2014 have shown that the fundamental principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity within internationally recognised borders cannot be taken for granted in the 21st century on the European continent. The EU remains committed in its support to the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of all its partners. Full adherence to all the principles and commitments enshrined in the 1975 Helsinki Final Act and 1990 Charter of Paris by all OSCE Participating States, as well as full respect for the principles and provisions of the UN Charter, is critical to our vision of a free, democratic, peaceful and undivided Europe. The participants of the Summit stress that the Eastern Partnership aims at building a common area of shared democracy, prosperity, stability and increased cooperation and is not directed against anyone. In this context, the Summit participants express their willingness to help rebuild trust and confidence on our continent.
The Summit participants strongly support all efforts aimed at de-escalation and a political solution based on respect for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. They call on all parties to swiftly and fully implement the Minsk Agreements of September 2014 and the package of measures for their implementation of February 2015, supported by the quadrilateral Declaration of Heads of State and Government, and endorsed by UNSC Resolution 2202 of 17 February 2015. They expect all parties to honour their commitments in this framework. They call for the urgent release of all hostages and unlawfully detained persons. They express their full support for the OSCE and its efforts through the Special Monitoring Mission and the Trilateral Contact Group. They will also continue to support all diplomatic efforts within the Normandy format and appreciate the contribution of Belarus in facilitating negotiations. The Summit participants call upon all parties to fully cooperate with the international investigations and criminal proceedings to hold to account those who are responsible for the downing of MH17. 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’. (…)
Comment by Information and Press Department on certain results of the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga (22.05.2015)
Russia’s Foreign Ministry closely monitored the preparations for and the progress of the Eastern Partnership (EP) summit in Riga, Latvia. The Foreign Ministry will study the summit’s results to determine if they comply with statements made by European Commission leaders to the effect that the EP is not spearheaded against Russia.
Despite the efforts of the countries that are aware of their responsibility for Europe’s future, the EP summit in Riga has missed an opportunity to stop the growing divide in Europe because of some member countries’ focus on their short-term considerations. The summit’s final document has actually reaffirmed the provisions approved at the previous EP summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. European Partnership has remained an ideologically burdened geopolitical project whose implementation is negatively influenced by some EU member countries with an anti-Russian complex.
Once again, the EU has stammered out its badly substantiated stance on Crimea. Some leaders of the EU member countries and Brussels representatives need to learn to respect the free choice and free expression of the will of the people, which they praise so eagerly in other situations.
We also noticed the attempts to blame Moscow for the Eastern Partnership’s problems and for the differing attitudes to this project in some countries, including the EU member countries. This latest summit sang the same old song.
Russia does not place in doubt the right of all countries to strengthen ties with their partners, including with the European Union. However, this should be done on an equal basis, without misapplying some countries’ striving for reform and modernisation, but by respecting historical ties and the entire structure of relations with neighbours.
Being an inalienable part of the European civilisation, Russia believes that any country’s belonging to the European matrix must not depend on other countries’ decisions or recognition. The strengthening of the European matrix is an ongoing process aimed at bringing all Europeans, from Lisbon to Vladivostok, closer together, rather than at dividing them by forcing them to take sides. We reaffirm our willingness to engage in constructive cooperation with the European Union, with the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States in building a single economic and cultural space from the Atlantic to the Pacific, based on cooperative and indivisible security for all.