Russia-EU summit to focus on four common spaces
The Russia-EU summit to be held in the Black Sea spa of Sochi on Thursday will focus on the creation of four common spaces initiated a year ago in Moscow, according to Russian permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov.
The four spaces include economy; security; education, science and culture; and justice and freedom.
Chizhov said on Thursday the summit will also exchange opinions about a Russia-EU strategic agreement on partnership, which is to replace the current agreement expiring in 2007. Official talks on the issue will begin when the European Commission will be ready, according to Chizhov.
He explained the Commission has to be authorized by the EC Council, which is expected to happen soon after the Sochi summit. Preliminary consultations are currently underway.
Energy security, which is the main topic of Russian G8 presidency, will be one of the main issues of the summit. Chizhov said to ensure global energy security it is necessary not only to guarantee stability of supply, in which the EU is interested, but also the stability of demand, in which Russia is interested.
Two agreements – on simplified visa regime and on readmission – will be signed at the summit.
It will also consider a wide range of international issues, on which Russia and the EU closely cooperate, including the Middle East peace process, the Iranian nuclear program, the situation in the Balkans, and other regional and global problems.
At present the European Union is the major Russian trade partner, while Russia is the third EU trade partner after the United States and China.