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In January 2002, the European Parliament noted that Armenia and Georgia may enter the EU in the future.

They participate in the European Union's Eastern Partnership program, the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, and are members of the Council of Europe, which specifies that all three have political and cultural connections to Europe.

There are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region".

One definition describes Eastern Europe as a cultural entity: the region lying in Europe with the main characteristics consisting of Greek, Byzantine, Eastern Orthodox, Russian, and some Ottoman culture influences.

The Baltic states have seats in the Nordic Council as observer states.

They also are members of the Nordic-Baltic Eight whereas Eastern European countries formed their own alliance called the Visegrád Group.

The following countries are labeled Southeast European by some commentators, though others still consider them to be Eastern European.

Ancient kingdoms of the region included Orontid Armenia Albania, Colchis and Iberia (not to be confused with the people of Iberian Peninsula in Western Europe).

Another definition was created during the Cold War and used more or less synonymously with the term Eastern Bloc.

A similar definition names the formerly communist European states outside the Soviet Union as Eastern Europe.

Due to this religious cleavage, Eastern Orthodox countries are often associated with Eastern Europe.

A cleavage of this sort is, however, often problematic; for example, Greece is overwhelmingly Orthodox, but is very rarely included in "Eastern Europe", for a variety of reasons, the most prominement being that Greece's history for the most part was more so influenced by Mediterranean cultures and contact.

Several other definitions of Eastern Europe exist today, but they often lack precision, are too general or outdated.