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    EU seeks outside funds for Eastern Partnership program

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    Part of the funding for the Eastern Partnership initiative (EaP) must come from outside the EU budget, the final document of a meeting of EaP foreign ministers in Brussels said.

    Part of the funding for the Eastern Partnership initiative (EaP) must come from outside the EU budget, the final document of a meeting of EaP foreign ministers in Brussels said.

    "The Ministers expressed the need to advance further in implementing Flagship initiatives and

    expressed their wish that other financial sources be found to complement the EU budget

    contribution to the EaP," the document reads.

    The Eastern Partnership program was launched in May 2009 and is aimed at improving relations between the EU and the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

    The initiative stipulates the allocation of 600 million euros ($796 million) to partner states until 2013, intended to be spent on the improvement of state institutions, border control and the development of small businesses.

    The next meeting between EU and partner state foreign ministers is scheduled for the second half of 2011.

    BRUSSELS, December 13 (RIA Novosti)

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