Sommaire: EU-Russia Foreign Ministers Troika meeting, 5 February (2 February 2007: Brussels)
FR - DE
European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, will participate in an EU-Russia Foreign Ministerial Troika in Moscow. The meeting is expected to focus on EU-Russia relations including energy, international issues including the Middle East, Iran, and Kosovo, as well as issues related to the EU-Russia common neighbourhood such as the South Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus.
Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner said: "2007 is an important year for EU-Russia relations, to solve problems and to advance our common agenda. We hope to start negotiations soon on a new agreement for EU-Russia relations. The Commission has been working hard with Poland and Russia to find a solution to the Russian ban on meat and plant exports from Poland to open the way for Member States to agree on the negotiating mandate. Energy remains high on our agenda: the oil delivery disruptions caused by the Russia-Belarus dispute at the beginning of the year highlight the need for a mechanism for early consultations between the EU and Russia. The new EU-Russia agreement should reflect the key principles of the Energy Charter Treaty and ensure reciprocity, transparency, and non-discriminatory conditions for co-operation."
She added: "The EU and Russia are important partners in tackling global challenges. Today, it is vitally important that we work closely together with Russia on crucial issues such as the Middle East, Iran and Kosovo. We believe there is much more the EU and Russia can do together in our common neighbourhood, in particular in the search for solutions to the frozen conflicts in Moldova and Georgia."
The existing Partnership and Co-operation Agreement reaches the end of its initial 10-year period in 2007. The EU and Russia agreed at the Sochi Summit to negotiate a new overall agreement for EU-Russia relations to replace the PCA. They agreed that the PCA should remain in force until the new agreement is in place and that the Common Spaces Road Maps adopted in May 2005 remain the work programme for EU-Russia cooperation in the short and medium term.
The Commission has been working closely with Poland and Russia to seek a lifting of the Russian ban on meat and plant exports from Poland. A solution of this issue would allow all members of the Council of Ministers to agree on the mandate for the Commission to start negotiations with Russia on the new agreement.
Energy will be an important part of the new agreement. The EU will seek to ensure that this element of the new agreement will be based on the principles of the Energy Charter Treaty and G8 St Petersburg Energy Security Statement. The Agreement will also pave the way for deep economic integration.
The Commission hopes that the EU-Russia visa facilitation and readmission agreements will enter into force this year. These are important examples of what can be achieved through the implementation of the Common Spaces Road Maps.
UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari has presented his proposals for the future status process of Kosovo to the Contact Group and to the parties in Serbia and Kosovo. The EU considers that each conflict and post-conflict zone is different and that there will not be a single solution that can be applied to all such areas.
The EU-Russia political dialogue at ministerial Troika meetings also offers the opportunity to raise EU concerns regarding human rights issues in Russia.
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