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European Commission - Press release

EU-Russia summit to improve citizen's mobility

Brussels, 14 December 2011 - The 28th EU–Russia Summit will take place in Brussels on 15 December. The European Union will be represented by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. The delegation of Russia will be led by President Dmitry Medvedev.

Discussions are expected to focus on the global economy and global governance issues, EU Russia relations, in particular Russia's WTO accession, visa and mobility issues and modernisation, including the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernisation. International issues, including developments in North Africa and the Middle East, will also be on the agenda.

Ahead of the Summit the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy said:

"At this summit, we will be able to harvest the results of three years constructive work. We have achieved a breakthrough on Russia’s WTO accession. At the summit, we will take concrete action for the mobility of our citizens: we will launch the first steps on the road to visa-free travel.

The EU welcomes the recent resumption of formal 5+2 talks on Transnistria, and looks forward to work with Russia to use this new momentum in enhancing the stability of our shared neighbourhood and improving the conditions for progress on other protracted conflicts. We are both committed to the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the UN framework. As part of our bilateral dialogue, the EU will recall Russia’s commitment to ensure free and fair elections and to fully respect the right of free assembly and speech."

The President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said:

"I look forward to a very successful Summit. A Summit of results. Russian WTO accession is a major achievement opening new opportunities for trade and the development of bilateral relations. It should also give new momentum to the negotiations on a new and comprehensive EU-Russia Agreement. We have found solutions on Siberian overflight charges and EU airline designation in bilateral air service agreements. The Partnership for Modernisation is in full implementation, and I look forward to the new progress report from its coordinators. Russia's modernisation process should progress both on the economic and institutional fields. We are also engaged in building a real partnership between our societies. We are making very good progress on several mobility and visa issues which will bring directly visible benefits to our citizens and people-to-people contacts. I expect the Summit to approve and launch the implementation of the 'Common Steps towards visa-free travel' thus demonstrating our wish to deepen and foster our ties on all levels."

Contacts :

Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen (+32 2 295 30 70)

Alejandro Ulzurrun (+32 2 295 48 67)

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