Parliamentarians are discussing how to improve relations between the EU and its eastern neighbourhood as part of the fourth ordinary session of the Euronest assembly under way in the Armenian capital Yerevan this week. Starting on 16 March, the three-day meeting brings MEPs together with MPs from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Among the issues being addressed are energy security, Russian aggression and relations with Belarus.
Speaking from Yerevan, Borys Tarasyuk, Ukrainian parliamentarian and co-president of the Euronest Assembly, said: "Given the current political realities, we will also adopt a resolution on Russian's aggression towards Ukraine."
The countries represented at the Euronest assembly include Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, which have chosen economic association with the EU, as well as Armenia, which has opted for the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union.
EP Vice-President Ryszard Czarnecki, a Polish member of the ECR group who opened the assembly on behalf of EP President Martin Schulz, said: "Rather than focusing on divisive elements we must focus our attention on the values and aspirations which unite us, on the inclusive spirit which animates this Assembly."
Euronest Assembly co-president Heidi Hautala, a Finnish member of the Greens, said the EU's Eastern Partnership needs to be reinvigorated and kept attractive to all partner countries and not just those having signed EU association agreements: "We have to give time to the other countries to decide how they want to proceed with the EU. In the meantime, we need to encourage reforms."
The assembly continues until 18 March. Discover the latest news by following our Twitter account @EP_ForeignAFF or by using the #Euronest and #EasternPartnership hashtags.