09:28 GMT +317 December 2017
Listen Live
    Onlinenews (archive)

    SERGEI YASTRZHEMBSKY: RUSSIA-EU SUMMIT MUST BE CONCRETE AND BUSINESS-LIKE

    Onlinenews (archive)
    Get short URL
    0 01
    MOSCOW, May 20, (RIA Novosti) - The Russia-European Union summit will meet in Moscow on Friday. Sergei Yastrzhembsky, an aide to the Russian President, a special representative for the development of relations with the European Union, gave an interview to the Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta in which he spoke of the problems to be discussed at the summit and about the prospects of Russia's rapprochement with united Europe.

    This summit, he said, must be made very concrete and business-like. However, I shall not be surprised if it not results in the adoption of a great number of documents. We should become accustomed that not every summit ends by signing a heap of documents. The character of our relations with the EU must become ever less declarative but more concrete and substantial. Of course, the decisions must be fixed. But in this case, the most important documents were signed on the eve of the summit. At the end of April, two documents were adopted in Luxembourg. Firstly, the protocol to the Joint Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between Russia and the EU on extending it to the new members. This Joint Agreement is the most important, I would say the main, document that forms the legal basis for our relations.

    The second document is the joint Statement on the Expansion of the EU and on the Relations between Russia and the EU. This document is important in principle for us, because it fixes political commitments of the sides on settling Russia's concerns in connection with the expansion of the EU. These documents must be signed right away, because the date for EU's expansion was scheduled for May 1.

    The main topic at the Moscow summit, continued Sergei Yastrzhembsky, will be filling in the "four spaces" with a new content; their creation was fixed by the joint resolution in Saint Petersburg last year and confirmed in the autumn at the Russia-EU summit in Rome. These "four spaces" imply a common economic space, foreign and internal security spaces and a humanitarian space. For us , the two coming summits - in Moscow and in the Netherlands - are key landmarks on the way towards creating four spaces and four road maps on each of the spaces.

    Touching upon the protection of the rights of the Russian-speaking population in Latvia and Estonia, which joined the European Union on May 1, Sergei Yastrzhembsky noted that taking into consideration the well-known historical circumstances and also the state of public opinion in Russia, the theme of the rights and freedoms of the Russian-speaking population in the Baltia countries, mostly in Latvia and Estonia, is undoubtedly a priority one for Russia. And Moscow has never made a secret of it. A special point in the statement says that Russia and the European Union hail the membership in the EU as a firm guarantee of the protection of human rights of the people belonging to minorities. This fact testifies to the political commitments to prevent the appearance of second-rate people in the territory of the EU. Accidentally, Sergei Yastrzhembsky says, the very notion of "non-citizens," used in Latvia with regard to 480,000 people and in Estonia (162,000) does not exist in the European Union at all. The well-know formula of the Rome law - treaties must be observed - has never been abolished by anyone. Russia will strictly monitor the fulfillment by the EU of its commitments.

    In his interview with Nezavisimaya Gazeta Sergei Yastrzhembsky specially underscored that no matter how deep differences may be at first glance between Russia and the European Union, sooner or later, as experience shows, they will be settled to a mutual satisfaction.

    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment