The European Union is one of the basic political and economic partners for Russia
The Russia-EU summit opened in Moscow's Kremlin Palace today. It became known prior to the start of the summit that Russian and European politicians had achieved the final agreement on the texts of road maps of joint Russia-EU spaces.
The agreement was achieved on May 9th at the meeting between the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Luxemburg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and the EU Secretary-General, Javier Solana.
Russia and the European Union continue their consultations on the visa-free entry and the return of illegal immigrants, Itar-Tass reports. However, the European Union does not plan the cancellation of visas for Russian citizens in the nearest future.
The Russia-EU summit completes the series of international undertakings in Moscow, devoted to the Victory Day celebrations.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia's top officials are conducting negotiations with the EU administration: Jose Manuel Barroso, the Prime Minister of Luxemburg, Jean Claude Juncker, and the EU's Foreign Secretary, Javier Solana.
Russian and EU leaders set forth the idea of four joint spaces in May 2003, in St. Petersburg. It is a joint economic space of external and internal security, as well as science, education and culture. The officials failed to prepare the road maps for the project, although they were supposed to be ready in November 2004, for the Russian-EU summit in The Hague. The Brussels insisted on a single package of documents, in which commercial and economic relations would be linked with problems of human rights, the situation in Chechnya and conflicts in Moldova and Caucasus. Moscow in its turn suggested passing the documents, which the two sides would be ready to execute, and save the coordination of other issues for later.
President Putin is determined to touch upon the issues of the Russian-speaking minority in Latvia and Estonia, as well as the problems of the Kaliningrad enclave, Itar-Tass reports. The agenda will also include actual international issues, such as the situation in the Balkans, Iraq and Iran, the conflicts in Cyprus, the Middle East and the UN reform.
The European Union is one of the basic political and economic partners for Russia. The cooperation of Russia and the European Union is based on the partnership treaty, which governmental chairmen and heads of states signed in June 1994. The treaty came into effect in 1997. Russia and the European Union hold regular summits twice a year (spring meetings take place in Moscow, whereas autumn meetings occur in the state, which holds the EU chairmanship).
The European Union is a very important trade partner for Russia. The European market for Russia consists of over 450 million consumers and 25 million companies. The EU regards Russia as an important commercial partner as well, although Russia's role in EU's foreign trade makes up only five percent. On the other hand, Russia has been ranking sixth in the general import volume in EU states, following the USA, Japan, Switzerland, China and Norway.