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EU-Russia Summit in Khabarovsk (May 2009)

The Summit has been introduced as an opportunity or the EU and Russia to discuss how best to coordinate responses to the financial and economic crisis. Climate change and energy security are also high on the agenda.. International issues to be tackled at the Summit range from efforts to promote greater stability in the common neighbourhood and in Europe more generally, through to the situation in the Middle East, Afghanistan/Pakistan, Iran and Sri Lanka among others.

On the eve of the Summit, EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso said: “Russia and the EU are interdependent. The global financial and economic crisis stresses the need to develop the potential of our relationship, remove obstacles and coordinate our efforts. Regular and frank political dialogue is the right way to manage our relationship and it must prevail in all times, no matter how difficult the issues at stake are.”

For the longer-term the EU and Russia are negotiating a New Agreement to replace the existing Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which should set out reinforced legally-binding provisions for the whole range of EU/Russia relations; in the field of energy it should be based on a relationship of interdependence and mutual benefits, enshrining the principles of the Energy Charter Treaty. The Summit is an opportunity to take stock of the progress made on the New Agreement negotiations.

© a special edition by ISRIA - 22 May 2009 - view original source