Former Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Manuel Barroso, whom the leaders of the European Union approved at the post of the Chairman of the European Commission, called Russia a very important partner of this regional organisation and spoke in favour of intensifying bilateral relations.
"We must undoubtedly develop relations with Russia. Russia is a very important partner. I understand the concern on the part of some members of the European Parliament with regard to the internal evolution in Russia, but in this case an open political dialogue will be the best way as it was at the recent EU-Russia summit," Mr. Barroso said at the meeting with the European parliamentarians in Brussels.
At the session in Brussels Jose Manuel Barroso was unanimously approved by the heads of state and government of the EU member-countries as the successor of Romano Prodi.
The European Parliament will consider the candidacy of Mr. Barroso on July 22 in Strasbourg. In order to become a new chairman of the European Commission he has to receive a majority of votes.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea