The Eastern Partnership will take a back seat to other European Union programs in the second half of this year, Sweden’s prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, said in an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Sweden took over the European Union’s six-month rotating presidency on July 1.
Mr. Reinfeldt said that owing to other challenges no major projects would be launched and no high-level meetings would be held in the framework of the program until the end of the year.
The Eastern Partnership was formally launched at a summit in Prague this May. The main goal of the Eastern Partnership, originally proposed by Poland and Sweden in May 2008, was described as "accelerating political association and further economic integration" between the EU nations and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The Partnership is expected to lead to closer economic and political ties between the 27-nation bloc and the ex-Soviet countries, easier visa formalities and the establishment of a free trade zone.