Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Second Report

6  EU-Russia relations

Deteriorating EU-Russia relations

204. The current legal basis for the EU-Russia relationship is a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) which came into force on 1 December 1997. The EU-Russia PCA is one of a series of such agreements which the EU concluded during the late 1990s with former Soviet states apart from the Baltic countries. The PCA framework treated all such states equally, and distinguished them from former communist countries which were on the path to EU membership. The EU-Russia PCA runs for an initial 10 years to December 2007, but it will be extended automatically if it has no replacement by then and if neither party objects; the two parties have already indicated that the agreement will be extended in this way.[455] The PCA established a system of formal contacts and joint institutions between the EU and Russia. The PCA also included provisions governing trade, investment and competition, and allowing for cooperation in a range of fields including energy, transport, science, technology, education and training.

205. In addition to the PCA, the EU and Russia have a number of sectoral agreements and arrangements for consultations in a number of specific areas. These include the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue, established in 2000. Since 2005, there have also been twice-yearly EU-Russia human rights consultations.

206. In 2003, the EU and Russia agreed on the creation of four 'Common Spaces' within the framework of the PCA, to try to give greater substance to the agreement's provisions and improve the process of practical cooperation. The four 'spaces' are: a common economic space; a common space of freedom, security and justice; a common space for cooperation in external security; and a common space of research and education, including culture. In 2005, the EU and Russia established 'Road Maps' for the Common Spaces, setting out in somewhat greater detail areas and tasks for cooperation.

207. Most recently, EU-Russia relations have centred on the possible replacement of the PCA, as it approaches its initial expiry date of December 2007. Both sides are officially committed to the negotiation of an overarching PCA successor agreement. Such an agreement would differentiate Russia both from the Western CIS states, which now fall under the EU's European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), and from the Central Asian countries. At the May 2006 EU-Russia summit in Sochi, both sides looked forward to the "start of negotiations for a new agreement which should provide a comprehensive and durable framework for the EU-Russia strategic partnership".[456] The European Commission—which would conduct the negotiations for the new agreement—presented a draft negotiating mandate to Member States in July 2006, with the aim of securing their approval for it by the end of the year.

208. As of November 2007, Member States had not approved the Commission's negotiating mandate for PCA successor talks with Russia. The PCA successor process stalled because Poland vetoed the opening of negotiations until Russia lifts a ban on the import of Polish animal and plant products, imposed on hygiene grounds in 2005. Poland's stance is supported by Lithuania, which has seen Russian oil supplies to its only refinery at Mazeikiu halted since July 2006, after a claimed leak but also after a Polish firm beat Russian rivals to buy the plant.[457] The European Commission—which is responsible for EU external trade matters—took up the Polish-Russian dispute in December 2006, but it has failed to persuade Russia to lift its ban. The Commission has said that Poland has done enough to meet Russia's food safety concerns, but after talks with Russia in April 2007 European Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said that the two sides had "a different approach as to how to proceed".[458] The FCO believes that Russia should lift its ban.[459] However, in May 2007, Russia extended its ban to cover Polish exports of live animals.[460]

209. Three EU-Russia summits, in Finland in November 2006, Russia in May 2007 and Portugal in October 2007, have now gone by without the talks on a PCA successor being launched. The official press release following the October 2007 summit did not mention the PCA successor agreement.[461]

210. The failure to launch negotiations on a PCA successor has been both a cause and a symptom of a general souring of relations between the EU and Russia since 2006. In April 2007, the European Trade Commissioner, Peter Mandelson, said that

    relations between the EU and Russia […] contain a level of misunderstanding or even mistrust we have not seen since the end of the Cold War. Tensions and uncertainty are running high both within Russia, amongst her neighbours and in her relations with the European Union and its Member States. Each suspects the other of double standards. Both believe the other is using the energy weapon as an instrument of politics. Neither thinks they enjoy the respect and goodwill from the other they are entitled to expect.[462]

In evidence to us, the then Foreign Secretary declined to characterise the May 2007 EU-Russia summit as a failure, but no substantive summit statement was issued. Mrs Beckett said that "not as much progress was made as we would have liked".[463] According to European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, the summit saw "very open, very frank, very honest exchanges."[464]

211. Our witnesses put the deterioration in EU-Russia relations down to a number of immediate factors:

  • Energy security fears: Dr Monaghan told us that the January 2006 disruption to Russian gas supplies to the EU "Politically […] had a huge impact".[465] Mr Clark said that "Of all the issues affecting EU-Russia relations none is more significant than the perception of Russia as an 'energy superpower' in the making."[466] Since the 2006 incident, EU dealings with Russia have largely been coloured by the idea of the country as a potential security risk. This injects a degree of mistrust and fear into the relationship on the EU side, and resentment on the Russian side.[467] At the same time, the heightened concern to ensure continued Russian energy supplies causes some EU Member States to court Russia and to be wary of aggravating it over other issues.[468]
  • Democracy and human rights concerns: The EU has become increasingly willing to voice concerns about Russia's democratic and human rights standards, as Russia's record in this respect has deteriorated.[469] At the press conference following the May 2007 EU-Russia summit, in the presence of President Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel—in her capacity as EU President-in-Office—expressed concern that members of the 'Other Russia' opposition coalition had been prevented by airport authorities from travelling to the summit for planned demonstrations.[470]
  • Elevation of bilateral disputes: The EU has taken up into its relations with Moscow a number of bilateral disputes between Russia and individual EU Member States. In addition to the Polish-Russian and Lithuanian-Russian trade disputes, this includes the conflict between Estonia and Russia which erupted in April-May 2007. After Estonia moved a symbolically important Soviet war memorial from the centre of Tallinn to a military cemetery on the outskirts, there were riots among Estonia's Russian population in which one person died. Russia halted rail transit to Estonia, claiming that the line needed repair. Estonian official and commercial websites came under disabling cyber-attack from servers which appeared to include some belonging to Russian state institutions, although Estonia did not officially accuse Russia of being behind the attacks.[471] At the Estonian Embassy in Moscow, the Estonian Ambassador had to be protected by bodyguards when members of the Russian nationalist youth organisation 'Nashi' who had been surrounding the building disrupted a press conference; the car of the departing Swedish Ambassador was also assaulted. In response, the EU—and NATO—issued public statements reminding Russia of its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to protect diplomatic personnel and buildings.[472] According to European Commission President Barroso, at the May 2007 EU-Russia summit the EU told Russia that "a difficulty for a Member State is a difficulty for all of us at the European Union. We are a Union based on principles of solidarity. We are now 27 Member States. So, a Polish problem is a European problem. A Lithuanian, an Estonian problem is a European problem as well."[473] A Russian official said that this approach was a "misuse of EU solidarity" with which Russia was "disappointed".[474] Nevertheless, following the pattern of the Baltic and Polish disputes, in June and July 2007 the EU Presidency issued statements supporting the UK in its dispute with Russia over the Litvinenko case.[475]

Underlying issues

212. Our witnesses drew attention to a number of fundamental and often linked issues in the EU-Russia relationship which underlie the current difficulties. For one thing, Russia's attitude to the EU is ambiguous. On the one hand, Russia sees the EU as one of the 'poles' in the emerging multipolar international system which it welcomes as a replacement for US dominance.[476] On the other hand, Ms Barysch told us that "there is nothing that Russia fears more than a European Union that will one day speak with one voice."[477] According to Ms Barysch, the apparently assertive EU of 2004-05 "looked scary" to Russia, with its enlargement eastwards, its launch of the ENP in the former Soviet space, and its support for the 'colour revolutions' there. Following the failure of the EU's Constitutional Treaty and the onset of 'enlargement fatigue', however, Russia now sees the EU as going through a period of weakness and introspection.[478] This contributes to Russia's current sense of itself as enjoying a window of international opportunity.

213. Russia prefers to deal individually or in small groups with the major EU Member States, rather than with the EU as such. According to Dr Pravda, this is partly because "Russia is a traditional great power actor and thinks that only the big powers matter."[479] In addition, Ms Barysch told us that Russia "gains much more by dealing individually with the capitals of Europe and having a divided EU rather than a strong EU that speaks with one voice."[480] Ms Barysch agreed categorically with a characterisation of Russia's policy towards the EU as one of "divide and rule".[481]

214. Russian attempts to divide the EU have typically found ready ground. In his April 2007 speech, Commissioner Mandelson said that "the incoherence of European policy towards Russia over much of the past decade has been frankly alarming. No other country reveals our differences as does Russia."[482] The major EU founder members in Western Europe—France, Germany and Italy—are accustomed to pursuing their own relations with Moscow, which have typically been cordial, while some other Member States have been prepared to be more critical. Dr Pravda told us that "Moscow is encouraged to persist with bilateralism by the disunity it sees within EU ranks."[483]

215. Both Russia and the EU are adjusting to the impact of the EU accession of former communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe. For the EU, the accession of the new Member States has exacerbated the difficulties involved in reaching a common policy towards Russia, because the former communist countries have an experience with that country which is not shared by their Western counterparts and which tends to make them suspicious and critical towards Moscow, although they are not homogenous in this regard.[484] Partly under the influence of Russia's own recent behaviour, the EU's attitude overall has appeared increasingly to be reflecting the new Member States' less Russia-friendly approach. For its part, according to Dr Pravda, Moscow is having "difficulty […] in coming to terms with the growing influence of the new East European member states on EU policy towards Russia."[485]

216. As regards official EU policy towards Russia, the Union has appeared to find it difficult to place the country within its system of post-Cold War external relations, although the problem has also been exacerbated by the shift in Russia's foreign policy stance. Ms Gower told us that EU policy had been "predicated" on Russia following a "path of political transition" similar to many other post-communist countries in Europe, towards a more Western-style democracy and economy willing to converge on many EU norms and practices.[486] Under the ENP, this model is being rolled out to Western CIS states; but Russia declined to participate in the ENP, with its implicit designation of the countries concerned as simply 'neighbours' of the EU. The language of 'strategic partnership' puts Russia on a par with powers such as the US, India and China in the EU's external relations, but these states are not European or geographically proximate to the EU. The EU simply has no experience of dealing with a major European power which is not officially hostile but which also does not aspire to EU membership.

217. Several of our witnesses drew attention to what Mr Clark called the "radically different strategic cultures" of Russia and the EU.[487] The CSRC told us that:

    the EU and NATO have replaced a Cold War view of European security with a post-Cold War view, emphasising 'common security' and an extensive post-modern agenda of common challenges […] Russia, in contrast, has replaced a Cold War view with a pre-Cold War (ie pre-1914) view of security, based on the 'balance of power', great power prerogatives, 'zones of influence' and geopolitics. Its traditional emphasis on nation, state and power sits uneasily alongside a European Union committed (at least rhetorically) to 'moving beyond' these defining features of the modern world […] In essence, the West and Russia inhabit different coordinates of time. Were Disraeli and Bismarck still in power in Europe, many Russians would understand us better than they do now.[488]

UK-Russia relations in the EU framework

218. The conjunction of poor relations between the UK and Russia, and poor relations between the EU and Russia, raises the issue of the relative weights which the UK should give to the two relationships as it seeks to improve its relations with Moscow.

219. Dr Monaghan advised caution about relying too heavily on the EU-Russia relationship. For one thing, working through the EU risks entangling the UK-Russia relationship with further bilateral disputes, primarily between Russia and the new EU Member States. For reasons of history and the new Member States' small size, these disputes are likely to be even less amenable to resolution than the difficulties between Russia and the UK.[489] Meanwhile, Dr Monaghan suggested that by playing to Russia's desire for status, dealings between only two or a few major powers are more likely to win Russian movement and commitment on key issues.[490]

220. Other witnesses stressed the importance of working through the EU. They pointed to the way in which bilateral dealings can undermine the force of any common EU position, including where such EU positions promote UK goals. According to Dr Pravda, "London should concentrate on developing relations with Moscow through Brussels rather than play to the Kremlin's preference for bilateralism."[491] Ms Barysch argued similarly that "for the UK to try to improve its relationship with Russia bilaterally would […] further weaken the European Union in the eyes of Russia."[492]

221. Mr Clark further suggested that large Member States' practice of dealing individually with Russia aggravated tensions between large and small Member States in the Union.[493] Ms Barysch also suggested that, precisely because of the poor current state of UK-Russia relations, "it might be helpful for [the UK] to put emphasis on the EU approaches, which would strengthen the UK".[494]

222. The Minister for Europe told us that "we can be effective bilaterally with Russia on a number of issues, but we can be much more effective if we work, where it is appropriate, collectively through the European Union. The fact that the EU is now made up of 27 states adds greater strength to our relationship."[495]

223. In his evidence to us in October, the Foreign Secretary similarly argued that "it is important to recognise that we are stronger in a number of areas where we engage with Russia on a multilateral, Europe-wide basis." Mr Miliband went on: "We have things that Russia wants—European markets, most obviously—and it is important that we stand together in trying to leverage the best possible outcome and the best possible protections."[496] However, Mr Miliband also told us that at their informal meeting on 7-8 September EU Foreign Ministers spent three hours discussing Russia, suggesting the distance that EU Member States still have to go before they reach a common stance on that country.[497] We conclude that the UK is correct to pursue its relations with Russia both bilaterally and through the EU. Where the EU pursues policies towards Russia which are in line with UK goals, the UK position is strengthened. In this context, we commend the Government for having secured EU Presidency statements in support of the UK position on the Litvinenko case. However, the EU is too often divided with respect to Russia, weakening its capacity to engage effectively. We conclude that there are fundamental difficulties in the EU-Russia relationship and we are not confident that these can be addressed effectively until the EU has a common stance towards Russia. We therefore recommend that the Government make the development of a united and coherent EU Russia policy an explicit goal of its work in the EU in 2008. We further recommend that, in its response to this Report, the Government outline the steps it proposes to take towards this goal.

New EU-Russia agreement?

224. The most immediate question facing the EU as regards its relationship with Russia is whether to try to launch negotiations on a PCA successor agreement as soon as possible. Given Poland's current stance, the launching of PCA successor talks would require at a minimum the resolution of the Polish-Russian trade dispute.

225. In its memorandum to our inquiry, the FCO said that it believed "it would be better for talks to open on a successor to the PCA sooner rather than later."[498] However, when he gave oral evidence, the Minister for Europe said that the UK was "less tied to a specific time scale" for any new agreement.[499]

226. The FCO supports the opening of negotiations on an EU-Russia PCA successor agreement because it regards the negotiations themselves as a potential mechanism for engaging Russia, "critically as well as cooperatively", on issues of importance to the UK.[500] The FCO told us that "The negotiating mandate covers all the areas that matter to us".[501] In October, the Foreign Secretary told us that the UK would like to "get on with [the PCA] with the clear view that there are responsibilities as well as rights associated with it for Russia. It contains things that Russia wants, and we want it to behave in a responsible way to get them."[502] Since Russia's refusal to extradite Andrey Lugovoy in the Litvinenko case, the UK has been seeking to expand the EU negotiating mandate to include extradition issues, although it appeared that several Member States might resist such a move.[503]

227. Against the FCO's wish to pursue the opening of talks, our witnesses offered a number of arguments against pressing for an early start to PCA successor negotiations, whether or not the Polish-Russian dispute is resolved. For example, Mr Clark argued that Russia was not complying with agreements that it had already signed, such as the existing PCA and the Energy Charter Treaty. Under these circumstances, according to Mr Clark, signing a new agreement with Russia would encourage its practice of non-compliance, whereas holding off might form part of a strategy of encouraging Russia to respect its international obligations. In Mr Clark's view, "the EU should make clear that it isn't prepared to sign new agreements with Russia until Russia is willing to respect the agreements it has already signed."[504]

228. Russia is entering an election season that is scheduled to last until March 2008. There is uncertainty about the degree to which the elections will meet international democratic standards, about the identity of President Putin's successor, and about Russia's post-election political constellation. Caution seems legitimate under these circumstances. Moreover, Ms Gower suggested that Russia was likely to be particularly uncompromising with the West during its election season. Under these circumstances, Ms Gower felt it was "difficult to envisage any real progress in the negotiations on a new treaty, even if they are formally opened" until after the presidential election.[505]

229. Ms Barysch pointed out that any attempt to negotiate a new agreement would pitch the EU and Russia back into "not very helpful debates—abstract and angry debates—about common values, which we would inevitably have about writing just the preamble."[506] However, Ms Barysch and Ms Gower both told us that any EU-Russia agreement which lacked firm language on shared values would not win the required assent of the European Parliament.[507] Indeed, given the sensitivity of relations with Russia for a number of Member States, Ms Barysch highlighted the risk that any one of them might veto any new EU-Russia agreement.[508] According to Ms Gower, "The nightmare scenario is that we negotiate it for the next 10 years and then one state says no."[509]

230. Our witnesses suggested that the existing framework for EU-Russia relations already provides mechanisms for engagement with Russia such as those sought by the UK. Ms Gower told us that "The concept of the four spaces gives us a very broad and comprehensive agenda for the potential development of relations and for constructive co-operation between the EU and Russia on pretty much all of the key issues that you can imagine."[510] For example, the UK might seek to raise the extradition issue in the context of the common space on freedom, security and justice. Alongside the 'four spaces' agenda, there are in addition the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue and the regular EU-Russia human rights consultations.

231. Ms Barysch argued that there were potential benefits to a focus on practical cooperation, namely that such work would be less politically controversial than an attempt to draft a new agreement, and might encourage the spread of shared practices and understandings.[511] Ms Gower told us that the current framework between the EU and Russia has "the potential to lead to a very substantial change in the nature of the relationship […] In the short and medium term, it presents the opportunities for the kind of pragmatic steps forward that […] could aid the situation and take things forward."[512] According to Ms Barysch, this kind of cooperation "might lack vision, but since neither the EU's foreign policy nor Russia internally knows where it is going at the moment, lack of vision is excusable."[513]

232. Ms Barysch further suggested that the effort to negotiate a PCA successor agreement might strain Russia's capacities in personnel terms. According to Ms Barysch, "on the Russian side […] the people who know enough and engage enough with the European Union are extremely limited. We want those people to work on trade, energy, human rights and security dialogue and not on an abstract debate about values."[514]

233. There might be a risk, highlighted by Ms Gower, that if no PCA successor negotiations were launched, "it is very difficult […] to envisage much progress being made on the more pragmatic agenda."[515] However, Ms Barysch disagreed, pointing to a number of working groups which had only recently been established under the common spaces agenda, despite the lack of post-PCA talks. Regarding practical EU-Russia cooperation, Dr Averre was similarly of the view that "although progress has been patchy, it has been more positive than many people would think".[516]

234. It appears doubtful that by holding off on the opening of PCA successor talks, the EU would jeopardise movement that Russia might otherwise make on areas of substantive disagreement, such as the Energy Charter Treaty. Ms Gower was of the view that, given its failure to lift its Polish import ban, Russia could not be "over concerned" about the opening of post-PCA talks. Rather than jeopardising possible concessions that Russia might otherwise make, the greater risk from mothballing PCA successor talks would be of provoking a tougher line from Russia on issues where it is at odds with the EU or individual Member States. In this context, it would be important that any decision to hold off on launching PCA successor talks were seen as a common EU position.

235. In response to both the more fundamental problems in the EU-Russia relationship and the PCA question, Dr Pravda advocated

    a two-track strategy. Brussels should persist in trying to build stronger working relations with Moscow in areas of potential practical cooperation […] [but] Brussels would do well to set this within the context of a wider vision of the developing relationship. This does not have to take the form of any grand treaty to replace the current agreement. But […] it would be helpful to pay more attention to the vexed questions of where Brussels and Moscow envisage the relationship going. If nothing else, a process of systematic consultation on aims and perspectives could reduce nervousness in Brussels about Russia's flexing of post-imperial muscles and anxiety in Moscow about EU quasi-imperial expansion.[517]

236. Overall, Ms Barysch told us that "Under present circumstances, trying to push forward the negotiations on a post-PCA agreement is futile, and could even be counter-productive."[518] The imposition for over a year of trade blockages on two EU Member States by a third country is unacceptable. We recommend that the Government impress on the European Commission and Moscow the urgency of resolving Russia's trade disputes with Poland and Lithuania. Even if Poland were to lift its veto on negotiations with Russia on a new EU-Russia agreement, however, we conclude that the launch of such negotiations in the near future would be probably fruitless and possibly unhelpful. We recommend that the Government revisit the question of the advisability of a new EU-Russia agreement as part of its discussions with EU partners on EU Russia policy, and that it report on initial discussions in its response to this Report.

The EU and Russia in the former Soviet space

237. The EU launched its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) in 2004, as a mechanism to help address the consequences for the EU of its enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe. According to the EU, the ENP aims to encourage the development of a 'ring of friends' around the EU's southern and new eastern borders, by promoting security, stability and economic development in neighbouring countries on the basis of common values. Specifically, the ENP offers partner countries cooperation, participation in some EU programmes and a degree of economic integration, in return for progress on political and economic reform on the basis of EU standards and practices. Action Plans agreed by both sides set out the steps to be taken by ENP partner countries and by the EU. Under proposals for a strengthened ENP endorsed by the European Council in June 2007, ENP partner countries are to be offered the possibility of alignment with EU Common Foreign and Security Policy declarations, like candidate states for EU membership.[519]

238. Among CIS countries, the ENP is in operation with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. As well as the ENP, the EU has recently launched a strategy for Central Asia, and a 'Black Sea Synergy' regional cooperation initiative which involves CIS countries, although neither of these initiatives is as yet as substantive as the ENP.[520]

239. In the context of the relationship with Russia, Dr Allison commended the ENP Action Plans as "not the kind of engagement that has the higher profile that would tend to attract the critical commentary from Russia such as politicians making speeches in capitals urging certain kinds of conduct and giving direct support to particular political groups." According to Dr Allison, the "technocratic and programmatic" approach of the ENP Action Plans, involving a lot of "low politics", "is more likely to be effective and less likely to attract direct Russian criticism."[521]

240. Our witnesses agreed that the EU's increasing involvement in the post-Soviet space nevertheless had a strategic aspect which threatened to aggravate relations with Russia. According to Dr Allison, "The EU, in seeking to define its new security neighbourhood, is viewed by Russia as a revisionist power in the area of the South Caucasus, Ukraine and Moldova, so there is likely to be an increase in geopolitical tension on those grounds."[522] Similarly, Mr Clark told us that:

    To the extent that the EU provides a pole of attraction for states that were part of the Soviet bloc, there is the basis for considerable geopolitical tension whether the EU invites it or not. As long as countries within Russia's 'near abroad' aspire to follow a European path, the current Russian leadership will tend to see the EU as a normative threat simply by virtue of its existence.[523]

Dr Allison informed us that Russia and the EU found it difficult to agree even on terminology with respect to Ukraine, with Russia rejecting the language of "shared neighbourhood" and the EU-Russia Common Spaces documents referring as a result to "regions adjacent".[524]

241. Given Russia's attitude to the EU and the former Soviet space, it is perhaps not surprising that the FCO reported Russia to have been "an uncommitted and unsupportive partner in the European Union's efforts to build success and promote modernisation and reform in the region, notably through the European Neighbourhood Policy."[525] Yet, at least in its public language, the Union appears largely to fail to consider Russia's relationship with the former Soviet space in regard to the successful implementation of the EU's goals in that region. For example, the EU strategy for Central Asia does not mention Russia. The latest ENP strategy document includes just three mentions of the country.[526] This omission may be due to the EU's tendency to compartmentalise policies; and to its espousal of the 'post-modern' notions of security outlined above, and squeamishness about traditional strategic politics. However, the ENP is unlikely to be as effective as it could be in the former Soviet space unless the EU acknowledges its strategic context and aspects. This would impact on the EU's work with both Russia and the CIS ENP partner countries. In this regard, Dr Averre suggested to us that there was scope for the UK to push the EU to "try better to co-ordinate its Russian policy with that towards the European Neighbourhood Policy countries."[527]

242. In its document on the UK's strategic international priorities, the FCO says that the UK "will seek to develop a shared understanding with Russia of how to promote security and prosperity in the EU and Russia's common neighbourhood."[528] When we questioned the then Foreign Secretary about the ENP, Mrs Beckett said that the UK supported the policy, but, as regards the EU in the region, did "not know whether […] we play a strategic role".[529] We conclude that the Government is correct to support the EU's European Neighbourhood Policy. We also strongly endorse the FCO's identification of a need to develop a shared understanding with Russia of the future of the common neighbourhood, involving the countries concerned and on the basis of their sovereign choices. However, the evidence is that this goal remains distant. We recommend that the Government seek to inject greater strategic awareness into the EU's policies for the former Soviet space and encourage greater coordination between the EU's policies for Russia and for other former Soviet states.

455   Ev 161 [EU-Russia Centre] Back

456   "Statement by the Austrian Presidency: 17th EU-Russia Summit in Sochi", 26 May 2006, via Back

457   "Lithuania threatens to block EU-Russia agreement",, 26 February 2007 Back

458   "EU-Russia talks on meat dispute end in deadlock", Financial Times, 23 April 2007 Back

459   Ev 81 Back

460   "Russia extends ban on imports of Polish meat", European Voice, 3 May 2007 Back

461   26 October 2007; available via Back

462   "The EU and Russia: our joint political challenge", text of speech given at Bologna, 20 April 2007, via Back

463   Oral evidence taken before the Foreign Affairs Committee on 19 June 2007, HC (2006-07) 166-ii, Q 191 Back

464   Post-summit press conference transcript, 18 May 2007, via Back

465   Q 86  Back

466   Ev 56 Back

467   Energy security issues were discussed in Chapter 5. Back

468   Chapter 3 raised the potential conflict between pursuing human rights concerns and securing energy supplies in countries such as Russia. Back

469   See Chapter 3. Back

470   "Europe-Russia summit: Putin riles west by barring opposition protesters", The Guardian, 19 May 2007. The promotion of democracy and human rights in Russia was discussed in Chapter 3. Back

471   "Web attackers used a million computers, says Estonia", The Guardian, 18 May 2007 Back

472   "EU Presidency Statement on the situation in front of the Estonian Embassy in Moscow", 2 May 2007, via;"NATO statement on Estonia", NATO press release (2007)044, 3 May 2007, via Back

473   Post-summit press conference transcript, 18 May 2007, via Back

474   "Russia warns EU on new vetoes", Financial Times, 17 May 2007 Back

475   "EU Presidency statement on the Litvinenko case", 1 June 2006, via;"Declaration by the President on behalf of the European Union on the Litvinenko case", 18 July 2007, via The Litvinenko case was discussed in Chapter 4. Back

476   This was discussed in Chapter 2. Back

477   Q 29 Back

478   Q 29 [Ms Barysch] Back

479   Q 19 Back

480   Q 39 Back

481   Q 30 Back

482   "The EU and Russia: our joint political challenge", text of speech given at Bologna, 20 April 2007, via Back

483   Ev 21 Back

484   For a recent survey of EU Member States' attitudes towards Russia, see Mark Leonard and Nicu Popescu, "A Power Audit of EU-Russia Relations", European Council on Foreign Relations Policy Paper, November 2007. Back

485   Ev 21 Back

486   Ev 23 Back

487   Ev 59 Back

488   Ev 27; on this point see also Professor Light at Q 1 and the discussion in Chapter 2. Back

489   Difficulties in the UK-Russia relationship were discussed in Chapter 4. Back

490   Q 75 Back

491   Ev 21  Back

492   Q 30; see also Ev 161 [EU-Russia Centre]. Back

493   Q 77 Back

494   Q 28 Back

495   Q 137 Back

496   Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence taken before the Foreign Affairs Committee on 10 October 2007, HC (2006-07) 166-iv, Q 389 Back

497   Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence taken before the Foreign Affairs Committee on 10 October 2007, HC (2006-07) 166-iv, Q 389 Back

498   Ev 82 Back

499   Q 135 Back

500   Ev 82 Back

501   Ev 82 Back

502   Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence taken before the Foreign Affairs Committee on 10 October 2007, HC (2006-07) 166-iv, Q 390 Back

503   "Litvinenko case set to affect EU links with Russia", Financial Times, 23 July 2007 Back

504   Ev 60 Back

505   Ev 23 Back

506   Q 27 Back

507   Q 27 [Ms Barysch], Ev 23 [Ms Gower] Back

508   Q 27 Back

509   Q 30 Back

510   Q 22. However, against this line of argument, see evidence from the CBI at Ev 173. Back

511   Q 23. This argument parallels some of those outlined in Chapter 3 about the most effective means of promoting democracy and human rights in Russia.  Back

512   Q 23  Back

513   Q 23  Back

514   Q 27 Back

515   Q 23; see also Ev 22 [Ms Gower] Back

516   Q 23  Back

517   Ev 21  Back

518   Q 27  Back

519   "Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on Strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy", COM(2006)726 final, Brussels, 4 December 2006, p 10 Back

520   Council of the European Union, "The EU and Central Asia: Strategy for a New Partnership", Brussels, 31 May 2007, via; "Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: Black Sea Synergy-A new regional cooperation initiative", COM(2007)160 final, Brussels, 11 April 2007  Back

521   Q 21  Back

522   Q 15; see also Ev 18 [Dr Allison]. Back

523   Ev 59 Back

524   Ev 18 Back

525   Ev 78 Back

526   Council of the European Union, "The EU and Central Asia: Strategy for a New Partnership", Brussels, 31 May 2007, via; "Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on Strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy", COM(2006)726 final, Brussels, 4 December 2006, p 10 Back

527   Q 40 Back

528   FCO, Active Diplomacy for a Changing World: The UK's International Priorities, Cm 6762, March 2006, p 25 Back

529   Oral evidence taken before the Foreign Affairs Committee on 19 June 2007, HC (2006-07) 166-ii, Qq 198, 200 Back

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