Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva is in Moscow, holding high-level meetings at EMERCOM (Russia’s Ministry for emergency situations), as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance.
At their first meeting, Commissioner Georgieva and Vladimir Puchkov, Russia’s Minister for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief, discussed how to take forward the already active cooperation between the European Commission’s Monitoring and Information Centre (which coordinates the EU Civil Protection Mechanism) and EMERCOM (Russia’s Ministry for emergency situations). Both confirmed their commitment to continue working together on disaster response, but also on prevention and risk monitoring. The most recent example of EU-Russia cooperation in this area is this summer’s assistance after the spread of fires in South-Eastern Europe.
The humanitarian crisis in Syria was also discussed. Commissioner Georgieva gave an overview of the EU's assistance to date, worth €119 million. The EU humanitarian chief and her Russian counterparts agreed on the importance of pursuing a principled humanitarian approach, delivering assistance on the basis of needs and in a way that is neutral, impartial and independent of political considerations.