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EU Spares Eastern Partnership Countries From Joining Anti-Russia Sanctions

© Flickr / Giampaolo SquarcinaMoscow hopes that while the European Union reviews possible new sanctions against Russia next week that “common sense will prevail.”
Moscow hopes that while the European Union reviews possible new sanctions against Russia next week that “common sense will prevail.” - Sputnik International
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EU Ambassador to the United States David O’Sullivan says that EU six Eastern Partnership nations will not be expected to join the Union’s sanctions against Russia.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein — The European Union’s (EU) six Eastern Partnership nations will not be expected to join the Union’s sanctions against Russia, EU Ambassador to the United States David O’Sullivan told Sputnik.

“In none of these cases do we expect alignment on European Union foreign policy, that is expected of [EU]candidate countries,” O’Sullivan said on Thursday.

During the May 2015 EU Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga, Latvia, the EU deepened relationships with the six Eastern Partner nations of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

O’Sullivan noted that only EU candidate countries are expected to come in line with the sanctions policy, “which is not yet the case for any of the Eastern Partnership countries.”

Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine have each repeatedly expressed their desire to fully join the EU.

Josh Earnest - Sputnik International
White House: Western Sanctions Fail to Meet Main Objectives in Russia
In a Thursday speech to the Atlantic Council, EU Commissioner for European Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said relations with the six Eastern Partners were “not black and white.”

Hahn cited Armenia as an example “to demonstrate that it is possible to be a member of the Eurasian [Economic] Union, but also to explore… the scope of cooperation with the European Union.”

Armenia turned down deeper association agreements with the European Union in 2013 in favor of joining the Eurasian Economic Union led by Russia.

The EU has imposed sanctions on Russia since March 2014 following the Crimean reunification. Russia responded to the EU’s actions by banning exports from those countries imposing the sanctions.

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