Pierre Perrin-Monlouis Dernière mise à jour: 20 octobre 2021
Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, will participate in an EU-Russia Foreign Ministers’ Troika in Moscow on 9 November together with UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana. The meeting is expected to focus on EU-Russia relations and international issues including Belarus, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Iran and the Middle East Peace Process. The Commissioner will hold bilateral talks with Presidential Aide, Sergey Yastrzhembsky on future co-operation on Kaliningrad. She will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the setting up of the European Studies Institute in Moscow.
Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner said: “The EU and Russia are already valuable partners in international affairs – notably in the Middle East. I believe there is much more we can do together. Where we have common interests we should maximise our co-operation – particularly in areas close to our borders like Transnistria and Belarus, but also farther afield in matters such as Iran’s nuclear programme”.
She added: “The EU wants to do more to help Kaliningrad to benefit from the economic opportunities after EU Enlargement. It is important that the wealth and living standards of Kaliningrad and the neighbouring EU member states develop in a harmonious way and this is why it is essential that we concentrate not only on transit issues, but begin to work together on socio-economic questions”.
At the Ministerial Troika meeting, the Commission will welcome Russia’s acceptance that the EU should participate as an observer in the 5-sided talks seeking a solution to the frozen conflict in Transnistria. The EU side will explain recent decisions on Uzbekistan and Belarus, and seek closer dialogue with Russia on these countries, where the EU and Russia have a shared interest in seeing improved governance, respect for human rights and progress towards democracy.
The existing Partnership and Cooperation Agreement reaches the end of its initial ten-year period in 2007, therefore the future shape of EU Russia relations will also be on the agenda of the Ministerial Troika. The EU will be exploring options for a future framework for a closer and more effective relationship.
The Commissioner’s meeting with Presidential Aide, Sergey Yastrzhembsky, should give new impetus to talks between the two sides on Kaliningrad. She will emphasise that the EU is committed to widening the scope of EU/Russia co-operation on Kaliningrad to address socio-economic and other development issues in the region. The EU has allocated €25 million to support Kaliningrad’s development in 2006. A similar amount has been allocated to fund cross border co-operation. The Commission looks forward to working with the Russian government to implement these programmes.
During her visit the Commissioner and Foreign Minister Lavrov will sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of the European Studies Institute in Moscow. The Institute will be set up within the Moscow State Institute of International Relations to provide postgraduate training on EU-related matters and should be operational from September 2006. The European Commission will finance up to 50% of the set-up and running costs, and has allocated €3 million for the initial three year period.
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