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The European Union and the Russian Federation will hold their 30th bilateral summit on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 December 2012 in Brussels. The EU will be represented at the summit by President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso. Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, along with European Commissioners Günther Oettinger (Energy) and Karel De Gucht (Trade), will also take part. Russia will be represented by President Vladimir Putin, accompanied by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Energy Alexander Novak and Minister for the Economy Andrei Belousov.
Speaking ahead of the summit, Herman Van Rompuy said: “The hosting of our 30th summit is tribute to the indispensable nature of our partnership and is once again an important opportunity to take stock of progress and to discuss open issues and concerns across the broad span of EU-Russia relations. We have good prospects for enhancing our solid political cooperation – from domestic judicial reform and the fight against corruption to the situation in the Middle East or the issues of Afghanistan or Iran – alongside concerns over developments affecting civil society and fundamental rights. We want to deepen our cooperation at a global level: on challenges such as global economic governance, climate change or cooperation at the UN, together the EU and Russia can make a decisive contribution to global governance and regional conflict resolution.”
José Manuel Barroso said: “The value of close EU-Russia cooperation is clear to all - our regular exchanges are a sign of this. We share a continent and many common interests, which is why we want to develop this strategic partnership further. A comprehensive New Agreement should provide the best basis for us to move forward towards our common goals, while respecting our values. Mutual benefit and mutual respect are the basis of our cooperation. We need to build on the progress achieved so far and on our international commitments, be it on trade as WTO members, energy or transport. In other areas, like science and research, our very good cooperation should be developed further. At this summit I also look forward to discussing progress made on our mobility agenda."
Summit participants meet for dinner on the evening of Thursday 20 December. The plenary meeting will take place on Friday morning, 21 December, followed by a working lunch and a press conference. Leaders will discuss the political and economic situation in Russia and in the EU, along with strategic perspectives for EU-Russia relations. A wide range of bilateral issues will be on the agenda, including work on the New EU-Russia Agreement; the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernisation; trade issues following Russia's WTO accession in August 2012; energy cooperation; visa issues and mobility; aviation; crisis management and civil protection cooperation; human rights and the rule of law.
Leaders will also discuss Russia's G20 presidency as well as regional and international issues, with discussions expected to focus on the situation in Syria, the Middle East and North Africa, the Middle East Peace Process; the Iranian nuclear programme; Moldova/Transnistria, Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh and the Western Balkans.
For more information:
Factsheet on EU-Russia summit
EU relations with Russia: