“The United States congratulates Georgia and Moldova on their historic initialing of Association Agreements and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements."
Four years ago, intent on supporting and expediting the progress toward reform already undertaken by six former Soviet Republics, the European Union launched the Eastern Partnership Initiative.
The program is meant to accelerate the political association and economic integration of six countries in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus --Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine-- with the European Union by improving the political, economic and trade relations among the partners.
The ultimate goal of the Eastern Partnership is the creation of a new free-trade zone embracing the 28 EU states and the six Eastern European and Caucasus countries. Much progress has been made over the past two years, including advancement toward compatibility in the areas of transport, energy, education, environment and research, as well as development of civil society.
Two countries, Georgia and Moldova, advanced to the next level on November 29th: their leaders initialed Eastern Partnership Association Agreements with the European Union and are working to sign them in 2014.
“The United States congratulates Georgia and Moldova on their historic initialing of Association Agreements and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements with the European Union at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius on November 29,” said Secretary of State John Kerry in a written statement.
“The United States strongly supports the integration of Georgia and Moldova into the Euro-Atlantic community, which will spur greater economic opportunity, development and prosperity across the continent.
“We commend Georgia and Moldova for strengthening the rule of law, democracy, and free markets. Meeting the goals of the EU’s Eastern Partnership program is one of the surest paths to a ‘Europe whole and free, and at peace,’” wrote Secretary of State Kerry.
“We reaffirm our commitment to deepening our partnership with the people of Georgia and Moldova, and we will continue to support their governments as they lay the groundwork for greater European integration and a better, more prosperous future.”