EU and Russian leaders will continue talks on a new Partnership for Modernisation when they meet for the 25th EU-Russia summit on 31 May and 1 June.
The summit – in Rostov-on-Don, Russia – will set out the priorities for this partnership. As is to be expected, the global economic and financial crisis, energy security and international foreign policy issues will also be on the table, along with climate change.
This is the first time that the two parties will have met at this high level since the climate change summit in December. Leaders will examine how best to move forwards with international negotiations on slowing climate change, as well as concrete action on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Visa-free travel between the EU and Russia has been a long-term objective for both sides. The summit will look at progress to date and the way ahead.
Russia is the EU’s third largest trade partner, making trade a key component in bilateral relations. The EU has long supported Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and will reaffirm this commitment at the summit. The country’s WTO accession is an important stepping stone towards stronger trade relations with Europe.
Leaders are also likely to discuss current international questions, including the Iranian nuclear programme, the Middle East, Afghanistan and the Southern Caucasus.
The EU will be represented by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso. High Representative Catherine Ashton will also attend, along with Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.