Skip to content .

Service navigation

Main Navigation


Further information

Link to opens in a new window




Plenary session of the European Parliament: Statement by State Secretary Janez Lenarčič on behalf of the EU Council on Preparation of the EU/Russia Summit


Dear President, honourable Members of the Parliament,

It is my great pleasure to present preparations for the twenty-first EU-Russia summit which will take place at the end of this month, on 26 and 27 June, in the Western Siberian town of Khanty-Mansiisk.

The Presidency believes that the upcoming Summit is the right opportunity for both sides to open a new chapter in mutual relations. In particular, we should be ready to make use of the potential positive momentum that the recent election of the Russian President Medvedjev could bring to EU-Russia relations.

The main objective for the Summit is obviously to launch negotiations on the new framework Agreement with Russia. We are very pleased that the Council of 26 May adopted the EU negotiating mandate for the new Agreement. The Presidency, together with the Commission, invested a lot of effort at the highest level in trying to overcome the remaining obstacles on the EU side. By negotiating a new Agreement, the EU will endeavour to further deepen its cooperation with Russia in areas of common interest, while addressing more effectively the topics where our positions may differ.

As usual, the Summit will provide an opportunity to take stock of progress in implementing the four Common Spaces. Allow me to briefly highlight their major characteristics:

As for the first common space, which is Economic space, the Summit will push for the early warning mechanism in the field of energy, as we want to take full advantage of all the options it offers. We will restate the prime importance of predictable and stable rules for foreign investments in Russia. In addition, the EU also intends to reiterate that formal negotiations on a deep and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement can start as soon as Russia has completed its WTO accession process. As regards the long-standing problem of Siberian overflight fees, the EU will continue to press for signature of the existing agreement.

In the second common space, which is Freedom, Security and Justice, the EU intends to voice concern about the situation concerning human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Russia, particularly in the context of the recent elections. I should add that this concern is shared by both the Presidency and the European Parliament. The Summit will also provide an opportunity to assess progress with the implementation of visa facilitation and readmission agreements.

Under the third common space, which is External Security, the EU will underline that more concrete actions for further cooperation in the Common Neighbourhood are needed. Above all, we will try to emphasize that Russia must endeavour to find a solution to the conflict in the Transnistrian region and Georgia. At the same time, we should welcome Russia's participation in the EUFOR Chad operation, and agree on further cooperation within the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy.

As for the fourth common space, which is Research, Education and Culture, the Summit should welcome the first Permanent Partnership Council on Research, which took place in Slovenia in May.

Finally, the Summit will provide an opportunity to address international issues, such as frozen conflicts, the Middle East, Iran and Afghanistan.

Dear Members of the European Parliament,

The summit will place particular emphasis on the endeavours of both sides to ensure the stable and democratic development of countries in the common neighbourhood area. Concrete cooperation between the EU and Russia within the framework of the common neighbourhood is essential to addressing problems of mutual interest and concern, and in particular frozen conflicts.

I am looking forward to hearing your discussion.


Accessibility     . Print     .

Date: 18.06.2008