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José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Remarks by President Barroso made at the EU-Russia Summit Press conference

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED

Press conference

Rostov, 1 June 2010

I would like to thank our Russian hosts, first and foremost of course President Medvedev, for their hospitality and our open and productive talks.

The Strategic Partnership between Russia and the European Union has again proven its value. In our fast-changing world, people and economies are ever more connected and inter-dependent. Our security and prosperity are shared to a large degree.

Working together and modernizing our economies and societies has become even more necessary in times of financial and economic crises.

Today, we have therefore taken our relationship an important step further: We have launched our Partnership for Modernization.

We conceived this common vision with President Medvedev at our last Summit in Stockholm. Today, we give it concrete priorities.

Let me just highlight three of them.

Firstly, we want to break business barriers and facilitate further investments. This will boost trade and growth.

Here, Russia's renewed momentum in joining the WTO is very important. The European Commission has always backed Russia's bid strongly.

We now hope that the necessary steps will be taken. Because truly modern economies are those that are open and shape the global rules of the game, not the ones that practice protectionism.

Joining the WTO is also an important stepping stone towards deeper bilateral trade relations. Already today the EU is the top investor in Russia. But Russia is Europe's third biggest trading partner. We are also closely linked in the field of energy.

All of this will be at the heart of the new comprehensive Agreement, which the Commission is currently negotiating with our Russian partners.

Secondly, we want to strengthen our ties on climate and energy issues.

The EU and Russia already work closely on moving the international climate negotiations forward (in the run-up to the Cancun Conference in December). We will now also cooperate even more on promoting a low-carbon economy, e.g. through the exchange of expertise and joint research.

We also agree on the importance of an enhanced energy dialogue based on an improved legal framework for our energy relations.

Thirdly, we will promote people-to-people links and enhance dialogue with civil society.

This stronger Partnership will also be an asset as Russia and the EU act to overcome the effects of the economic and financial crisis.

We are preparing two important G20 Summits: in Toronto at the end of this month and in Seoul in November. Russia and the EU must not miss these opportunities to boost the global recovery and reshape economic governance.

We have an obligation to deliver on the G20 Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth. Strong growth depends on open markets. Sustainable growth requires fiscal consolidation. Balanced growth can only happen if we tackle structural problems and issues of competitiveness. And we have to make particular progress on financial markets reforms.

That is why I will be proposing in Toronto, on behalf of the EU, that we agree global rules on bank resolution funds, along the lines of the “safety net” that the Commission has just recently proposed for the EU.

Ladies and Gentlemen, today’s 25th EU-Russia Summit has again shown how substantial our partnership is. It is ambitious and yields tangible results. It is in the enlightened interest of all of us.

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