My highly esteemed associates,
I want to thank you all for being here this morning. I admire your dedication to openly discuss matters of the EU, the states that are involved in it and the citizens that reside in them.
A few weeks ago, my colleagues and I, President Barroso and President Van Rompuy, have just finished the EU – Russian Summit. We have discussed many avenues into deepening the relations between Russia and the EU. The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement of 2008 with the EU has given us some improvement, and we would want to deepen economic integration and coöperation even more. Therefore, we are looking into the possibilities of enhancing and replacing this agreement. The Partnership for Modernisation is in implementation, and in due time we will see advancement in investment and trade, technical standards, and sustainable low-carbon economy promotion. The EU – Russia Energy Roadmap 2050, signed by the EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger and Russian Minister for Energy Alexander Novak, is focused on ensuring energy security and fair energy distribution to both EU and Russia while maintaining a transparent and competitive market. Human Rights in Russia have always been aligned with the EU. The mobility of Russian and EU citizens, which I will go into detail later on, have been on negotiations for an upgraded visa. This might mean a complete upgrade of the Schengen Visa or something similar; why this does not happen now, I will discuss later on. Of course, the hot topic nowadays is the Syrian crisis and the steadfast willingness of the EU to participate, which I see as completely unnecessary. Continue reading “Vladimir Putin and the EU”