BRUSSELS, March 24 (RIA Novosti) - European Union leaders issued a statement Friday in favor of stepping up the energy dialogue with Russia.
"The Energy Dialogue with Russia should be revitalized and become more open and effective in support of EU energy objectives, based on our mutual inter-dependence on energy issues," the EU leaders said in Presidency Conclusions following the summit in Brussels March 23-24.
The leaders pointed to "the need for secure and predictable investment conditions for both EU and Russian companies and reciprocity in terms of access to markets and infrastructure as well as non-discriminatory third party access to pipelines in Russia,"
The EU leaders also spoke in favor of ensuring "nuclear safety and environmental protection."
"Decisive efforts should be made to complete the negotiation of the Energy Charter Transit Protocol and secure Russia's ratification of the Energy Charter Treaty," the document says.
The Energy Charter was originally signed in The Hague in December 1991 as a mechanism for energy cooperation between Eastern and Western Europe.
In 2003, 51 European and Asian states joined the charter. Seventeen countries and 10 international organizations have the status of observers. Russia signed but did not ratify the treaty.
The treaty focuses on five key aspects - protection and encouragement of foreign investments in the energy sphere, free energy trade, freedom of energy transit via pipelines and networks, reduction of the negative impact of energy on the environment and mechanisms to settle disputes between states and between governments and investors.