EU Eastern Partnership summit kicks off in Brussels - UPDATED, LIVE
Leaders from the EU and six former Soviet states meet in Brussels on Friday for the latest summit aimed at deepening ties, but thorny subjects like Russian influence and the war in Ukraine are off the agenda.
The set-piece will focus on 20 "deliverables" - plans to help Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus tackle corruption, improve the rule of law and modernise their economies.
Brussels insists its so-called Eastern Partnership with the six states is "not aimed at any country", but the likes of Moldova and Ukraine have urged the European Union to send a welcoming signal to their people to counter the siren call of Moscow.
Concerns are running high over the Kremlin's use of cyber tactics and misinformation to cause political destabilisation around Europe and draw former Soviet states into its embrace.
British Prime Minister Theresa May will warn the summit to be on guard against "the actions of hostile states like Russia which ... attempt to tear our collective strength apart".
The original article was published in the Channel News Asia.