They knew it would not be a milestone event. But many in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine nonetheless are finding it difficult to accept the results of the May 21-22 European Union gathering in Riga, Latvia.
All three countries – the stars of the Eastern Partnership, a six-member grouping of former Soviet republics (along with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus) with which the EU is promoting dialogue – sense themselves at risk from a predatory Russia. In addition, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine are grappling with moribund economies.
EU association agreements, it was hoped by many in Tbilisi, Chișinău and Kyiv, would help keep the countries on a reform-minded course. But so far, many complain, their EU ambitions have yet to produce substantive results. As a result, Euro-enthusiasm is on the wane.
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Monica Ellena and Giorgi Lomsadze are Tbilisi-based freelance journalists. Victoria Puiu is a journalist who writes for the weekly newspaper Timpul (Times) in Chișinău, Moldova.