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    Poland condemns Belarus minister no-show at Eastern Partnership summit

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    Poland has criticized the refusal by the Belarusian foreign minister to attend an Eastern Partnership summit in Warsaw.

    Poland has criticized the refusal by the Belarusian foreign minister to attend an Eastern Partnership summit in Warsaw.

    Warsaw is hosting a two-day summit (September 29-30) on the Eastern Partnership, an initiative to bring the EU's eastern neighbors closer to the 27-nation bloc.

    Belarusian Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov declined the invitation. The country will be represented at the summit by the Belarusian ambassador to Warsaw.

    Belarus' decision is yet another step toward the country's "self imposed isolation," Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said on Thursday.

    The Eastern Partnership program, initiated by Poland and Sweden in 2008, seeks to bring the six post-Soviet countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine closer to the democratic and economic workings of the EU.

    The summit is expected to produce a declaration on the "European aspirations" of the EU's partners in the program.

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