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Back from Russia

23 May 2011

EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström is back in Brussels after two days in St Petersburg where she went together with the Hungarian EU Presidency to meet with Russia's Ministers for Justice and the Interior. She also participated in the event International Legal Forum together with Russia's President Medvedev.

On the agenda for the ministerial meeting was the fight against human trafficking and other forms of organised crime, problems with narcotics in Afghanistan, judicial cooperation, migration, asylum, and visa issues. Visa cooperation has been on the agenda in EU-Russia discussions for years, and several measures of visa facilitation have been introduced since 2003. After the meeting Cecilia Malmström concluded that there are still remaining issues in order to get full visa liberalisation, and said that EU and Russia are getting closer to a common understanding of the remaining measures needed.
"From the EU side, we are also concerned about the shortages in the Russian justice system. I brought up the issue that journalists and human rights activists have been murdered and that no one has been tried for the murders. I also mentioned the mysterious Magnitsky case and asked the Minister for Justice to make sure they get some clarity on that", said Cecilia Malmström.

On Friday Cecilia Malmström attended the event International Legal Forum, which was organised for the first time and inaugurated by President Medvedev. The event is a forum to discuss important principles of law and better coordination of justice systems internationally. In her speech Cecilia Malmström spoke about corruption. She underlined that corruption exists everywhere – within the EU as well as in Russia, and she welcomed President Medvedev's intervention on the need to improve the Russian investment climate. Read Cecilia Malmström's speech in full.