Deepening economic ties, modernisation efforts in Russia, and developments in North Africa and the Middle East are on the agenda for the 2011 EU-Russia Summit, taking place on 9 and 10 June in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.
It is now one year since the launch of the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernisation – a flexible framework designed to promote reform, enhance growth and boost competitiveness. Leaders will take note of progress so far in areas such as strengthening the rule of law, expanding investment opportunities, boosting trade relations, aligning technical regulations and standards and fighting climate change.
A new bilateral EU-Russia Agreement is currently under negotiation. When in place it will provide a comprehensive basis for deeper, mutually beneficial relations between the two parties. Leaders will take stock of progress in these negotiations.
Economic cooperation is high on the agenda of the summit. Economic ties between Russia and the EU have developed significantly in recent years. Russia remains the EU’s third most important trading partner in goods (after the US and China), having received € 87 billion in EU exports in 2010. The EU is also by far the largest market for Russian goods.
The summit is also an opportunity to discuss the state of play in negotiations on Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which could still happen in 2011.
The EU is represented in Nizhny Novgorod by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton will also attend, along with Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht. Russia is represented by President Dmitry Medvedev, Foreign Minister Servey Lavrov and Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina.