By Rick Rozoff
Global Research, February 13, 2009
At a meeting of the European Union’s General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels on May 26 of last year, Poland, seconded by Sweden, first proposed what has come to be known as the Eastern Partnership, a program to ‘integrate’ all the European and South Caucasus former Soviet nations – except for Russia – not already in the EU and NATO; that is, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The above are half of the former Soviet republics in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) established as a sop to Russia immediately after the breakup of the Soviet Union in that year and in theory to be a post-Soviet equivalent of the then European Community, now European Union. (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania never joined and both were absorbed into the European Union and NATO in 2004.)
The Eastern Partnership has since last May been presented as an innocuous enough sounding proposal containing a mission statement to promote “a substantial upgrading of the level of political engagement, including the prospect of a new generation of Association Agreements, far-reaching integration into the EU economy, easier travel to the EU for citizens providing that security requirements are met, enhanced energy security arrangements benefitting all concerned, and increased financial assistance.” (European Union press release, December 3, 2008)
The key phrases, though, are “upgrading of the level of political engagement” and “enhanced energy security arrangements.”