Richard Giragosian (Armenia)
Founding Director of the Regional Studies Center (RSC), Yerevan, Armenia, Visiting Professor and a Senior Expert at the Yerevan State University’s Centre for European Studies (CES), a contributing analyst for Oxford Analytica.
The Armenian government has been sincere enough to decline aspirations to join the European Union or NATO. Realistically, unlike Georgia and some of the other Eastern partnership countries, Armenia does not expect a promise of EU membership. The current goal is rather association, which is realistic given Armenia’s strategic decision to base its security on a partnership with the Russian Federation.
Mariam Naskidashvili (Georgia)
Junior researcher at the Tbilisi State University and the Yerevan State University. Her ongoing project examines the influence of national identity on foreign policy formation.
The level of support for the European Union is significant among Georgians. Currently, more that 60% are in favour of further integration with the EU. This is why even though governments have changed, the foreign policy direction of the country has been maintained. It would certainly not be popular to change the course. Nevertheless, recent polls show that around 31% of the population are in favour of joining the Eurasian Union, which is quite high.
When the government in Georgia changed a couple of years ago, we thought that Georgia could become a little bit more pro-Russian. The Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that Georgia should explore all options. Nevertheless, we signed the Association Agreement which is certainly a step towards more integration with the EU.
Iryna Solonenko (Ukraine)
DAAD/OSF scholar at the European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder.
An overwhelming majority of the people in Ukraine supports joining the European Union. Before the Maidan, there was not such a clear sense of direction in the Ukrainian society, but this has changed. I think the reason is not so much the Maidan protest but rather the current war with Russia that provokes these moods in the Ukrainian society. The support for NATO has also increased.