European Scrutiny Committee Contents

19 EU-Russia relations


(26607) 8799/05

+ ADD 1




COM(08) 740




SEC(08) 2786

EU-Russia: Road Maps for the Common Economic Space, the Common Space of Freedom, Security and Justice, the Common Space of External Security and the Common Space on Research, Education and Culture

Commission Communication: Review of EU-Russia Relations

Commission Staff Working Document accompanying the Commission Communication Review of EU-Russia Relations

Legal base
DepartmentForeign and Commonwealth Office
Basis of considerationMinister's letter of 17 June 2010
Previous Committee Reporta) HC16-iv (2007-08), chapter 27 ( 28 November 2007); HC 41-xxxiii (2006-07), chapter 8 (25 July 2007); HC 41-xxv (2006-07), chapter 9 (13 June 2007); HC 41-v (2006-07), chapter 12 (10 January 2007); HC 34-xxxiii (2005-06), chapter 15 (28 June 2006); HC 34-i (2005-06), chapter 6 (4 July 2005)

(b) and (c) HC 5-vi (2009-10), chapter 5 (13 January 2010); HC 19-i (2008-09), chapter 2 (10 December 2008) and HC19-xxii (2008-09), chapter 10 (1 July 2009); and see (29944) —: HC16-xxx (2007-08), chapter 18 (8 October 2008)

To be discussed in Council
Committee's assessmentPolitically important
Committee's decision(a) Cleared (Resolution of the House 21 October 2005)

(b) and (c) Cleared (Resolution of the House 20 January 2009)


19.1 The Common Strategy instrument was created by the Amsterdam Treaty, as the means of setting out the objectives, overall policy guidelines, organisation and duration of the EU's external policies towards geographic or thematic areas. The EU's Common Strategy on Russia — its first — was adopted at the June 1999 Cologne European Council, for a period of four years. It had four objectives:

  • encouraging the democratic reform process in Russia;
  • encouraging economic reform;
  • promoting regional and global stability and security; and
  • promoting co-operation with Russia on areas of common concern such as international crime and environmental questions.

The Four Common Spaces

19.2 In July 2004, the then Committee considered a Council Report on the main lines of a proposed successor. The Common Strategy — described by the then Minister for Europe as "long and diffuse" — had never enjoyed any "buy-in" from Russia and had been overtaken by developments elsewhere in the EU-Russia relationship. The May 2003 St Petersburg EU-Russia summit had now envisaged the development of relations taking place within an Action Plan embracing Four Common Spaces — a common economic space (building on the notion of a Common European Economic Space); a common space of freedom, security and justice; a space of cooperation in the field of external security; and a space of research and education. Work accordingly proceeded on this proposal, within the framework of the existing Partnership and Co-operation Agreement.

19.3 The history of the then Committee's consideration of these issues is set out in the Report of its meeting on 4 July 2005.[76] The then Minister for Europe said that the challenge was to press ahead with implementation and deliver practical, mutual benefits. As "political documents [and] not legally binding agreements", the Road Maps would not be put formally to the Council for approval, but submitted for the Council to take note. The confidentiality of the negotiations had left him unable to share any of the contents of the Road Maps with the Committee earlier.

19.4 Our predecessors felt that, though it might no longer be called a Common Strategy, any "framework for the EU's relations with Russia" was self-evidently of immense importance. They also felt that the relationship should arguably aspire to somewhat more than "practical benefits", and that the challenge was likely to be in making progress in those areas that tend to be grouped under the notion of "shared values" and which revolved around "good governance", but which nonetheless had a real bearing on the attainment of long-term practical benefits. Although our predecessors did not wish the Minister to hold up agreement in the Council, they nonetheless recommended that the Four Common Spaces "Road Maps" be debated in European Standing Committee B, ahead of the 4 October 2005 EU-Russia Summit. The debate did not in fact take place until 20 October 2005, when European Standing Committee B agreed that the Road Maps provided "a valuable framework for the EU to achieve its objectives in its relations with Russia in the medium term".[77]

19.5 The Minister also agreed to update the Committee after each bi-annual Summit. One of the Committee's concerns has been that, since these post-Summit reports were, in a sense, a substitute for the transparency lost in the change from a Common Strategy (which required regular assessments) to the "Four Spaces" approach, they should be more than a recital of the topics discussed; rather, what we wanted to know was what was said, and how each party responded to the other, and what the Government thought of the outcome, the challenges for ensuing Presidencies and how best to approach them.

19.6 A more recent Report summarises developments since, culminating in a letter of 12 September 2008 accompanying his Explanatory Memorandum, from the then Minister for Europe (Mr Jim Murphy), which updated the Committee "on events over the summer in Georgia [and] set out the UK's role." Lengthy as it was, the Committee thought that it was of sufficient breadth and importance for it, and the annex to it, to be set out in full at the Annex to that chapter of the Committee's Report.

19.7 In that letter, the then Minister said that, at the Extraordinary European Council meeting on 1 September, "in response to Russian actions, the Council decided to conduct a comprehensive review of EU-Russia relations." This evaluation would continue up to the EU-Russia Summit in Nice on 14 November 2008. The EU had also suspended negotiations with Russia on the new EU Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA). The review would "allow us to take a considered decision about the future of EU-Russia relations." Then, in his customary post-GAERC letter to the Committee, the then Minister also noted that, during the discussion on Georgia, "the Foreign Secretary intervened to reinforce the need for a thorough audit of the EU's relationship with Russia, in the run up to the 14 November EU-Russia Summit." Given the Committee's continuing interest in these Summits and their impact on endeavours to take the present PCA/Four Spaces framework forward, the Committee asked him to write before the summit with a summary of the audit and his views on its implications. As well as reporting these developments to the House, the Committee also forwarded this chapter of its Report to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.[78]

19.8 The subsequent Commission Communication and accompanying Commission Staff Working Document provided a summary and detailed description of the state of the EU-Russia relationship and a short assessment of why the Commission believed that the PCA negotiations, suspended since the Russia-Georgia conflict, should continue — namely that a PCA with Russia provides a framework for unified EU negotiations. The report did not draw any conclusions about how the EU should engage with Russia.

19.9 The Communication was submitted to the Council on 5 November. The re-opening of negotiations was subsequently agreed at the 10 November General Affairs and External Relations Council.

19.10 In her 14 November 2008 Explanatory Memorandum, the then Minister for Europe at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Caroline Flint) noted that, although the Communication drew no conclusions, it did, however, consider the future areas of cooperation that a PCA would need to cover, including "a substantial section on energy, enshrining the principles of the Energy Charter Treaty", which was "consistent with the expectation that a new EU-Russia agreement would provide a comprehensive, legally binding, framework to cover all main areas of the relationship." She also said that the Communication would "inform discussions on how the EU should be engaging with Russia, including on the process of negotiations towards a successor to the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA)". She "and the overwhelming majority of EU Member States" believed that pursuing negotiation of a new PCA with Russia was the best way to pursue UK and EU interests across a range of other important issues; a Presidency statement had "made it clear that the resumption of PCA negotiations is put in the context of the EU review of engagement with Russia and that this is not a return to business as usual" or "a turning of the page on Georgia." The government would "continue to work with EU partners to ensure that the EU takes a hard headed approach to Russia relations and sticks to the tough mandate agreed for the negotiations." The review was "the beginning of the process of determining the future shape of EU-Russia relations. It provides a baseline to inform further examination and discussion by Member States of whether specific areas of engagement should continue."

19.11 In her letter of 26 November 2008, the then Minister for Europe (Caroline Flint) reported that the Nice EU-Russia Summit of 14 November had focused mainly on Georgia, pan-European security and the international financial crisis. Referring to the resumption of negotiations on the new PCA announced at the Summit, the Minister said "hard headed engagement and not isolation" was "the way forward in the EU's relationship with Russia". The PCA provided "a mechanism for the EU to engage Russia in a more coherent and united way". The mandate was "ambitious and comprehensive", covering a range of important issues such as Climate and Energy Security, Trade, Human Rights etc. Negotiations on the PCA would "also provide further opportunities for the EU to press the Russians on the need to work to resolve frozen conflicts." But the then Minister was "clear that this does not mean a return to a "business as usual" relationship between the EU and Russia"; the government would "continue to insist on full Russian implementation of the ceasefire agreements and their cooperation in the Geneva talks." The then Minister also welcomed "the earlier EU commitment to ensure that the EU-Russia audit will inform negotiations on a possible successor to the PCA."

19.12 With regard to pan-European security, the then Minister said that the EU had expressed its concern about President Medvedev's speech in Berlin and his statements on the potential deployment of Russian missiles, stating that no missiles should be deployed until the new geopolitical conditions of pan-European security had been discussed.[79] President Medvedev had in turn reiterated Russian views that current European security mechanisms were "imperfect" and pressed for a discussion on their proposals for a new "European Security Architecture"; President Sarkozy had proposed holding a meeting in mid-2009, in the framework of the OSCE, to discuss these proposals. The government was "open to this suggestion" and would coordinate with Allies how to move forward. Though it was too early to say what would be on the agenda for such a conference or where the most appropriate forum for discussion would be, the then Minister was "absolutely clear that any discussion on European security should include transatlantic allies."

The previous Committee's assessment

19.13 The previous Committee felt that talk of a new "European Security Architecture" raised profound questions; particularly about Russia's objectives — did Russia have a strategy of confronting the West? Did she have a strategy at all? — and how Member States should respond — which they felt would no doubt depend on how the new US administration acted, and which at least raised the question of whether proposals to tie countries like Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan more closely to the West were not dangerously premature, until the US, Russia and Europe had first worked out the basis of their own relationship. The previous Committee noted that the Minister had made no mention of the critical remarks by President Sarkozy, made at the Summit, about proposals for the deployment of anti-ballistic missile defence systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, notwithstanding the apparent lack of any mandate for the Presidency so doing. Nor of the possible implications of the recently-enunciated principles of Russian foreign policy — compliance with international law; a multi-polar world; full and friendly relations with all countries; the "unquestionable priority" of "protecting the lives and dignity of Russian citizens, wherever they may be"; a right to give "special attention" to particular regions in which Russia has "privileged interests" — which, as experienced observers had pointed out, were contradictory and contained no mention at all to the maintenance of international security.

19.14 The previous Committee asked the Minister to ensure that the Committee was kept informed about the possible developments to which she referred. In the meantime, the last Standing Committee debate on EU-Russia relations having been over three years previously and in view of what had happened since then, and the serious issues dealt with in the Communication and the Minister's letter, they recommended that the document be debated in on the Floor of the House.[80] That debate took place on 20 January 2009.[81]

19.15 In his letter of 17 June 2009, the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Chris Bryant) provided an update on the EU-Russia Summit that took place in Khabarovsk, in the Russian Federation, on 22 May, hosted by President Medvedev. He said that the Summit discussed the state of play in EU-Russia relations, including progress in negotiations on the New EU-Russia Agreement, the economic and financial crisis, energy security, Georgia, climate change and various international issues including MEPP, Iran and Afghanistan. His account is set out in detail in our most recent Report.[82]

19.16 On Energy security, he noted that President Medvedev had said that, on the whole, Russia was satisfied with energy cooperation between the EU and Russia: the EU would remain Russia's main customer for energy, and Russia was and would remain a reliable supplier of energy to the EU; but the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) was not up to date, did not provide solutions to existing problems, did not take Russian interests fully into account, was therefore unacceptable, and Russia would not be ratifying it; a new treaty should incorporate all the best elements of the existing ECT, while taking into account the interests of producer countries; if Russian proposals were taken into account, Russia might accept a revised ECT in the future.

The previous Committee's assessment

19.17 The previous Committee thought that the disappointment the Minister expressed concerning Russian behaviour towards both OSCE and, then, UN missions in Georgia would no doubt not have been allayed by the news that, on the eve of President Obama's first visit to Russia, the Russian authorities had increased tensions, viz., the launching of "Caucasus 2009" — a military exercise close to the border with Georgia and involving both Russian troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and naval and air forces, whose aim according to a Russian military spokesman was "to establish the state of battle readiness and troop mobilisation deployed in Russia's southwest region" — and the Russian Ambassador to NATO, a day after the alliance resumed military ties with Russia, frozen since the war, seemingly threatening Georgia with the loss of more territory by reportedly calling on Georgia to "abstain from military operations" against South Ossetia and Abkhazia and reportedly saying that "each time Georgia takes this step, it runs the risk of shrinking in size."

19.18 Moreover, though it was now summer time, they felt that there was little comfort in the report of this Summit for those who had suffered during the recent winter from the failure of Russian gas to be delivered to EU markets, or from Russian endeavours to "divide and rule" in the construction of pipeline and storage networks, which showed little sign — on the contrary — of a real desire to "create an "energy union" comprising the EU and Russia, to ensure energy security and promote energy efficiency."

19.19 Given the high interest in the House in EU-Russia relations, the previous Committee again drew the Minister's report to its attention.

The then Minister's letter of 8 December 2009

19.20 The then Minister for Europe (Chris Bryant) wrote about the 24th EU-Russia Summit, which took place in Stockholm on 18 November 2009, with what he described as "a flavour of the event, … as always … with the caveat that, as this was an event where we were represented by the Presidency, we are reliant on those present for a readout."

19.21 After listing the principals on both sides, and noting that there was a parallel meeting of the "EU-Russia Industrialists Roundtable" immediately after the Summit (which he said discussed issues including "conditions for trade and investment between the EU and Russia, future Russian accession to the WTO and problems arising from corruption"), the then Minister summarised the Summit thus:


19.22 A number of agreements had been reached:

  • an Enhanced Early Warning Mechanism on energy, which would enable EU monitors to observe developments in the Russia-Ukraine gas relationship;
  • Five agreements launching Cross Border Cooperation Programmes between the EU and Russia;
  • Expert level talks were initiated on cooperation in crisis management;
  • Russia had been invited to participate in a "partnership for modernisation", which he said would "focus on aligning regulatory frameworks."


19.23 The Summit had focused on a number of common challenges including climate change; economy and energy; EU-Russia relations; and international issues.


19.24 President Medvedev had pledged to reduce Russian greenhouse gas emissions by between 20 and 25% emissions by 2020 against 1990 levels (the previous Russian offer was a reduction of 10-15%), subject to the positions adopted by other major emitters.

19.25 Russia and the EU had agreed on the need to involve big business in Russia and the EU in discussion of using energy efficiency as a key tool in the fight against climate change.


19.26 The EU had underlined its continuing support for Russian accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and, noting the EU-Russia agreement currently being negotiated, raised concerns as to the forthcoming entry into force of a customs union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. President Medvedev had reiterated Russia's desire to join the WTO. The parties agreed that much had been accomplished with the G20 and G8 to tackle the economic and financial crisis. Russia and the EU still needed to work with the other leading economies, particularly on a consolidated strategy of recovery.


19.27 The EU and Russia had stressed the need for continued, constructive cooperation on energy, underlining the importance of stability of supply. Russia had suggested that cooperation on energy be extended to alternative energy sources, including biofuels and hydrogen fuel. The EU regretted Russia's decision to withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty. Both sides had agreed on the importance of new pipelines for the delivery of hydrocarbons to the EU. Russia had been grateful to Sweden, Denmark and Finland for agreeing to Nord Stream.


19.28 Progress in negotiations between the EU and Russia on a successor to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was noted.

19.29 The parties had discussed a broad range of issues under the four EU-Russia Common Spaces. The EU had expressed concern regarding the situation in the North Caucasus and the state of human rights, democracy and rule of law in Russia. The EU had encouraged Russia to ratify Protocol 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights as soon as possible.

19.30 The EU had welcomed the good cooperation on crisis management and looked forward to an early signing of the agreement on classified information. It had been anticipated that this agreement would be signed at the summit, but the Russians were unable to do so for administrative reasons.

19.31 The Commission had briefed Russia on the implications of the Lisbon Treaty, explaining that the Commission President and the High Representative would work together effectively in tandem.


19.32 External issues discussed were: the Iranian nuclear issue; Afghanistan and Pakistan; the Middle East Peace Process; Western Balkans; European Security; and stability and security in the EU-Russia common neighbourhood. The EU had called on Russia to comply fully with its commitments under the Sarkozy/Medvedev agreements following the August 2008 war in Georgia; and for the EU Monitoring Mission to be able to access South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russia insisted on agreement from the entity authorities.

19.33 The EU had acknowledged the constructive role played by Russia in recent improvements in Turkish-Armenian relations and stressed the need to find a solution to the conflict over Nagorno Karabakh.


19.34 The Summit had delivered positive outcomes on several EU priorities. The new Russian commitment on climate change, and the endorsement of a new Early Warning Mechanism were important, and the latter reinforced the EU's message that Russia and Ukraine must take their energy responsibilities seriously if another winter gas crisis was to be avoided. Engagement with Russia on the full range of issues, not shying away from those where the parties disagreed, was in the EU's interests.

19.35 The Minister concluded by expressing the hope that the previous Committee would "find this readout useful".

The previous Committee's assessment

19.36 The previous Committee judged the readout to be useful up to a point. Again, it felt, all sorts of questions were raised about what was actually said, which it was difficult to believe would not have been covered in subsequent discussion between Member States and the Presidency, and which it would (as had been said before) have hoped the Minister would have shared with the House. For example, it asked:

—  if Russia were to withdraw from the ECT, what would replace it?

—  if both sides had agreed on the importance of new pipelines for the delivery of hydrocarbons to the EU, and Russia had acknowledged Sweden, Denmark and Finland's cooperation with regard to Nord Stream, had there been any corresponding undertaking by Russia with regard to proposed pipelines to connect southern Europe with central Asia?

—  what progress had actually been made on a successor to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement? And what had happened to the audit referred to a year earlier (c.f. paragraph 19.7 above)?

—  what had the Russian response been to EU concern regarding the situation in the North Caucasus and the state of human rights, democracy and rule of law in Russia, and EU encouragement to ratify Protocol 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights as soon as possible?

—  what had been said under the six external issues discussed, where Russian cooperation had hitherto not always been forthcoming and where it was essential to make progress?

19.37 The previous Committee also noted the lack of mention of President Medvedev's proposals for a new "European Security Architecture" and President Sarkozy's proposed meeting in mid-2009, in the framework of the OSCE, to discuss these proposals, to which the then Government had professed itself "open", with the caveat that "any discussion on European security should include transatlantic allies".

19.38 Given the variety of ways in which interested Members could pursue them, the previous Committee said that it did not expect the then Minister to respond to these questions; its purpose was to draw them to the House's attention, given the widespread interest in the subject matter.

19.39 The previous Committee also again drew this chapter of its Report to attention of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The Minister's letter of 17 June 2010

19.40 The Minister writes to update the Committee on the 25th EU-Russia Summit, which took place in Rostov-on-Don on 31 May-1 June 2010, stressing that his impressions (which are set out below) come via the Spanish Presidency, which represented Member State views:


"The Summit was hosted by President Dmitry Medvedev, accompanied by Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr Alexander Konovalov, Minister of Justice; Ms Elvira Nabiullina, Minister for Economic Development and Trade; Mr Alexander Grushko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Ambassador Vladimir Chizov, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the EU. The European Union was represented by President of the European Council, Mr Herman Van Rompuy, and President of the European Commission, Mr Jose Manuel Barroso, accompanied by High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Catherine Ashton, and Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.


"The EU-Russia Partnership for Modernisation was launched, and a Joint Statement issued (attached).[83] The Partnership for Modernisation was first proposed at the EU-Russia Summit in Stockholm in November 2009. It seeks to promote closer EU-Russia relations through EU support to Russia in her attempts to modernise. Both sides saw great potential for the partnership. They agreed it was important that the Partnership incorporated rule of law and civil society elements: in this way, efforts to modernise would be more likely to succeed and endure. Within this agreed approach, the focus would be on concrete activities, including satellite navigation; energy efficiency; joint programmes to strengthen the judiciary and fight corruption and strengthening dialogue with civil society.

"The Russians signed the Agreement on the Protection of Classified Information in the margins of the Summit (signed by the EU in 2009). Your Committee cleared an Explanatory Memorandum covering the Agreement on the Protection of Classified Information in December 2009.


"The Summit focused on EU-Russia relations; climate change and energy; the global economy and trade; and a range of international issues.


"Both sides noted progress in the negotiations for the New Agreement following the recent closure of the ninth round. The EU emphasised the importance of substantial trade and investment provisions as a central tenet of the Agreement.

"The EU welcomed a number of positive developments on human rights issues and the rule of law, including the ratification in the Duma of Protocol 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the extension of jury trials nationwide and the confirmation of the moratorium on the death penalty. The EU raised concerns about the situation of human rights defenders and journalists in Russia and about worrying developments in the North Caucasus.

"On visas, Russia said it was ready to move reciprocally and immediately towards visa-free travel. President Medvedev presented a draft visa waiver agreement. The EU called for realism and understanding. There was scope to move forward gradually, focusing on results and concrete progress. The EU side added that the implementation of both the readmission and visa facilitation agreements were crucial factors with regard to further progress in the visa dialogue.

"The EU stressed that crisis management cooperation could contribute to finding solutions to protracted conflicts in the common neighbourhood. It welcomed good cooperation in Chad and coordination in the framework of the EU operation ATALANTA, and looked forward to a new round of experts' talks on a Framework Participation Agreement in the coming weeks.

"In this context, you will no doubt be aware of the recent joint announcement by President Medvedev and Chancellor Merkel on proposals for a new EU-Russia Political and Security Committee. This was not discussed at the Summit. Discussions will now be taken forward in the Council with a view to an outcome at the next Summit under the Belgian Presidency. I will update the Committee with further information on the EU-Russia PSC, as events develop.


"The two sides noted that Cancun would be an important stepping stone towards a binding agreement. The EU pressed Russia to be more ambitious on unused carbon allowances and on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Russia indicated it would be prepared to discuss its position on targets for emissions reductions but stated that its final decision would depend on moves by other big emitters.

"On energy the Russian side said that the Energy Charter Treaty was a useful framework but that work was needed to better reflect the relations between producers, transit countries and consumers. The EU agreed that the Energy Charter was the right context for discussion on a multilateral energy framework. On Ukraine, Russia said that the new momentum on Russia-Ukrainian relations was 'good for Europe'.


"Exchanges on the economy focused on recent developments in the Euro zone and global financial governance issues. Both sides stressed the need for international coherence in working through the global financial challenges still at play. A step by step approach was needed.

"The EU side pressed Russia to withdraw its remaining protectionist measures, introduced as part of its response to the economic crisis, and added that trade provisions were to be a key element of the New Agreement between the EU and Russia. The Russian side gave no response on the issue of tariff hikes.

"The EU emphasised that Russia joining the WTO was a key aspect of modernisation. President Medvedev confirmed Russia's intention to join the WTO. The EU was fully supportive of Russia's accession. Russia would not be slowed down by Kazakhstan or Belarus (although it remains to be seen whether Belarus will eventually join).


"HR Ashton and FM Lavrov agreed a Joint Statement on the Gaza flotilla. The Middle East Peace Process was given particular focus during the lunch time discussion on 1 June. The sides also discussed the Iranian nuclear issue; Afghanistan and Pakistan; Western Balkans; European Security; and stability and security in the EU-Russia common neighbourhood. The EU called on Russia to comply fully with its commitments under the Sarkozy/Medvedev agreements following the August 2008 war in Georgia; and for EUMM to be able to access South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russia recalled the Tagliavini report and stated that Georgian drones were frequently deployed along the Administrative Boundary Lines [Russia used the term 'borders'] of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.


"The Summit was balanced and measured, with the Partnership for Modernisation as the centrepiece. The launch of this initiative gave new impetus to discussions on the New Agreement and Russia's WTO accession which both sides acknowledged as key tenets of Russia's modernisation."

19.41 As did his predecessor, the Minister concludes with the hope that the Committee will find this readout useful.


19.42 We do, but with the same caveat. Clearly, the Partnership for Modernisation has developed into something more substantial than was indicated by his predecessor (c.f. paragraph 19.21 above). Given the EU's unsuccessful endeavours with some of its own Member States, let alone with a country noted for its difficulty in embracing such concepts, we feel bound to wonder how successful it will be in tackling issues that hark back to the beginning of this relationship concerning "common values", such as strengthening the judiciary, fighting corruption and strengthening dialogue with civil society. A whole host of other questions also continue to arise concerning the willingness of Russia to seek to forge a genuine partnership in key issues such as energy and nuclear security, and her commitment more generally to a rules-based world —witness Russia's recent ambiguous approach towards the Arctic, first planting flags on the sea bed, now calling for a "zone of peace" in the Arctic. In the security sphere, yet another new actor appears to be in the wings, viz., President Medvedev and Chancellor Merkel's proposals for a new EU-Russia Political and Security Committee, about which the Minister appears to be unsighted.

19.43 All in all, we think that this six-month impressionistic summary of each Summit, which is invariably long on factual information already in the public domain and short on analysis, is now of limited utility. We have no wish to dissuade the Minister from continuing to provide it to our colleagues in the Foreign Affairs Committee and to the House as a whole. But this is no longer a scrutiny issue and there are many ways in which interested Members can take up the issues raised in and by each Summit, as well as the general question of the EU-Russia relationship, other than via our Reports. Moreover, events have now moved a long way from this Committee's purpose. We continue to await with interest the time when a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement is in real prospect, in which the Committee has a scrutiny interest, and look forward to hearing from the Minister then. In the meantime, we should be content for the Minister no longer to provide us with any more Reports on further EU-Russia Summits.

Annex: Joint Statement on the Partnership for Modernisation

EU-Russia Summit 31 May-1 June 2010

"Meeting at Rostov-on-Don for their 25th Summit on May 31-June 1, 2010, the European Union and Russia launched a Partnership for Modernisation to the mutual benefit of their citizens.

"In a world in which peoples and economies are ever more closely connected and interdependent, modernising our economies and societies becomes ever more important and necessary.

"The European Union and Russia, as long-standing strategic partners in a changing multipolar world, are committed to working together to address common challenges with a balanced and result-oriented approach, based on democracy and the rule of law, both at the national and international level. The New European Union — Russia Agreement, which is currently under negotiation, will also provide the basis for achieving these objectives. In this context, the Partnership for Modernisation will serve as a flexible framework for promoting reform, enhancing growth and raising competitiveness, and will build on results achieved so far in the context of the four European Union-Russia Common Spaces, complementing partnerships between European Union Member States and the Russian Federation. The sectoral dialogues will be a key implementation instrument for the Partnership for Modernisation.

"The European Union and Russia have a common interest in enhancing bilateral trade and investment opportunities and in facilitating and liberalising trade in the global economy as well as strengthening and developing competition, including through Russia's early WTO accession.

"Priority areas of the Partnership for Modernisation will include: expanding opportunities for investment in key sectors driving growth and innovation, enhancing and deepening bilateral trade and economic relations, and promoting small and medium sized enterprises; promoting alignment of technical regulations and standards, as well as a high level of enforcement of intellectual property rights; improving transport; promoting a sustainable low-carbon economy and energy efficiency, as well as international negotiations on fighting climate change; enhancing co-operation in innovation, research and development, and space; ensuring balanced development by addressing the regional and social consequences of economic restructuring; ensuring the effective functioning of the judiciary and strengthening the fight against corruption; promoting people-to-people links; and enhancing dialogue with civil society to foster participation of individuals and business. This list of areas for cooperation is not exhaustive. Other areas for cooperation can be added as appropriate. The European Union and Russia will encourage implementation of specific projects within the framework of the Partnership for Modernisation.

"The Partnership for Modernisation will be the subject of continuous monitoring and exchanges at all levels of the European Union — Russia dialogue. The co-ordinators of the Partnership and the co-chairs of the European Union — Russia sectoral dialogues will closely interact in the Partnership's implementation. The European Union and Russia have exchanged concepts on the European Union's and Russia's visions of the main areas for cooperation within the context of the Partnership for Modernisation. Leaders have tasked coordinators of both sides to develop a work plan."

76   See headnote: (26607) 8799/05: HC 34-i (2005-06), chapter 6 (4 July 2005). Back

77   Stg Co Deb, European Standing Committee B, 20 October 2005, cols. 1-28. Back

78   See headnote: 29944 -: HC 16-xxx (2007-08), chapter 18 (8 October 2008). Back

79   The previous Committee presumed this to be a reference to the speech by President Medvedev made in Berlin on 5 June, on his first trip to Europe after his inauguration, when he said military expansion led by America and Nato "worried" Moscow and could destroy relations between East and West "in a radical way, for a long time", warned against American plans to build a ballistic missile shield involving radar installations in Poland and the Czech Republic and called for a "regional pact" to replace current security arrangements. Also see President Medvedev's speech of 15 July 2008 to the diplomatic corps in Moscow, summarised at,2144,3486571,00.html.  Back

80   See headnote: (30107) 15299/08 and (30108) 15300/08: HC 19-i (2008-09), chapter 2 (10 December 2008). Back

81   See for the record of that debate. Back

82   See headnote: HC19-xxii (2008-09), chapter 10 (1 July 2009). Back

83   The Joint Statement is reproduced at the Annex to this chapter of our Report. Back

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