EU, ex-Soviet neighbors patch over rifts with eye on Russia




 
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May 22nd, 2015  
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Topic: EU, ex-Soviet neighbors patch over rifts with eye on Russia


By Alastair Macdonald and Gederts Gelzins RIGA (Reuters) - Looking over their shoulders at Russia, the European Union and six former Soviet neighbors patched up their differences to renew vows of cooperation in the interests of peace and security at a summit on Friday. Meeting in Riga 18 months after the last Eastern Partnership gathering sparked the Cold War-style tug-of-war over Ukraine, Kiev and other aspirants to the European club won offers of aid and hopes of visa-free travel to the EU that fell short of promises of EU membership. Despite sympathy from some EU leaders, especially in the east, who urged firmer commitments to eventually bringing the most pro-Western states into the bloc, the EU's big powers are wary both of provoking Russian President Vladimir Putin and of burdening the Union with impoverished and unstable new members.




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