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Belarus and Moldova invited into EU? Europe ponders countering 'resurgent' Russia

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BERLIN – Amid fears of growing economic and political instability in several former Soviet republics, the European Union (EU) convened a summit meeting in Prague on Thursday aimed at forging a stronger partnership between the 27-member bloc and its eastern neighbors.

The summit’s agenda includes launching the EU’s Eastern Partnership plan, arguably its biggest outreach effort to Eastern Europe since its 2004 enlargement let in eight formerly communist countries.

The plan targets EU relations with Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

The goal?

To get these countries to adopt political, economic, and social reforms modeled on the EU – and in return, eventually to enjoy a degree of engagement with the bloc, including free trade and visa-free travel.

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