EU-Russia: from a “partnership of necessity” to a “partnership of choice”
"The European Union and Russia are indeed strategic partners because we are really indispensable to each other’s security, economic development and prosperity", said President Barroso after a meeting of the European Commission and the Russian Government in Moscow.
The European Commission, led by President Barroso, met the Russian Government, led by Prime Minister Medvedev, for executive-to-executive talks in Moscow on 21-22 March.
"Successful cooperation and dialogue do not happen by coincidence. They are the result of joint motivation, continuous consultations, respect for the commitments taken and open-minded solutions. A strategic partnership must be built on strategic trust", said President Barroso.
During the talks a wide range of topics were discussed, from trade to transport, from energy to mobility, from science to good governance and rule of law. President Barroso highlighted trade as one of the pillars of EU-Russia cooperation. Open trade, transparent rules and rejection of protectionism are clearly part of the answer to revive global growth, said the President. Also, the EU-Russia Roadmap for Energy Cooperation until 2050 was adopted. "This Roadmap is an expression of our will to develop a shared vision, common policies, and a joint objective of achieving a Pan-European Energy Space, if not before, by 2050".
According to President Barroso, cooperation between the EU and Russia must deliver concrete benefits to citizens, as it is the case of the mobility agenda. "Today we have moved forward on our upgraded visa facilitation discussions and we are close to reach an agreement", said the President of the Commission, also pointing out the progress made in the Common Steps towards a visa-free regime.