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13 EU FMs Call on Commission to Support EaP Countries Access COVID Vaccine

In a letter addressed to EU High Representative Josep Borrell, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides and European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi, Foreign Ministers of 13 EU member states called on the Commission to assist the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries access COVID-19 vaccine.

The January 6 missive, initiated by Lithuanian FM Gabrelius Landsbergis, was co-signed by Foreign Ministers of Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden.

The Foreign Ministers called on the European Commission to quickly develop a support mechanism for assisting Eastern Partners, similarly to that of Western Balkans.

“We believe that our borders will not be safe if we do not extend our support to our immediate neighbors. Our Eastern Partners have on numerous occasions expressed their appreciation for the EU’s COVID-related assistance and pleaded for facilitated access to the vaccine,” the letter reads.

“In the context of the upcoming EaP Summit we need to send a strong and coordinated message on the strategic value of the EaP,” the Ministers went on, adding that “Facilitated vaccine-sharing/support access for our Eastern Partners would be one important element of such a message.”

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani thanked his EU counterparts, underscoring that the letter “is yet another confirmation of staunch support and solidarity of EU.”

The EU’s Eastern Partnership Initiative, launched at the Prague Summit in 2009, includes six countries, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Belarus.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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