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    PRODI: EU INTERESTED IN ANTI-TERRORIST COOPERATION WITH RUSSIA

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    MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) - Chairman of the European Commission Romano Prodi has described the fight against terrorism as a common cause for Russia and the EU. He said this in his speech about the EU's enlargement in Moscow today.

    He recalled the recent explosions in Madrid, which shocked all Europeans.

    Mr. Prodi noted that the EU countries showed their resolve to take joint steps to free the continent and the world from terrorism.

    However, terrorism cannot be defeated by force only. The fight against terrorism makes our commitment to democratic values even more important, said Mr. Prodi. The respect for human rights does not reduce the productivity of the anti-terrorist fight.

    On the contrary, our promotion of human rights, civil freedoms and supremacy of law should be at the top of our anti-terrorist agenda and among its main reasons, said Mr. Prodi.

    According to the chief of the European Commission, a constructive dialogue can help consolidate common values to lie at the basis of this partnership.

    The EU is also interested in boosting court and police cooperation with Russia to meet fresh threats and challenges, said the chairman of the European Commission.

    In his words, at issue is cooperation with Russia in the fight against international terrorism, illegal migration and border crimes.

    Our common borders should be well protected and transparent at the same time. They should be opened for legal trade and law-abiding citizens, but closed for smugglers, criminals and terrorists. We have already made progress on the agreement on readmission to become the basis of our common fight against illegal migration, said Mr. Prodi.

    At the same time, he underlined that effective cooperation in law-enforcement and border administration should create no artificial barriers for free interaction between our societies. Therefore Russia and the EU have agreed on their commitment to introducing visa-free trips in a long-term prospect. And now we are taking reciprocal measures to facilitate visa requirements, and make business and tourist trips easier for our citizens, said Mr. Prodi.

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