Russia concerned over Eastern Partnership
Russia has expressed concern over the EU’s Eastern Partnership scheme that should strengthen links between the European Union and several post-Soviet states. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Luxembourg on Tuesday that the EU should not seek accession of these countries to the bloc. The Eastern Partnership project, to be officially launched at a summit in Prague in May, is designed to foster closer cooperation between the EU and Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said Monday that Russian officials were talking ‘nonsense’ when they accused the EU of creating a sphere of influence in the former Soviet republics.