19 EU-Russia relations |
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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
|Department||Foreign and Commonwealth Office
|Basis of consideration||Minister's letter of 17 June 2010
|Previous Committee Report||a) 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 assessment||Politically 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
- encouraging the democratic reform process in Russia;
- encouraging economic reform;
- promoting regional and global stability and security;
- 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. 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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
That debate took place on 20 January 2009.
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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:
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).
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
CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
"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
"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'.
ECONOMY AND TRADE
"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
"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
"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
76 See headnote: (26607) 8799/05: HC 34-i (2005-06),
chapter 6 (4 July 2005). Back
Stg Co Deb, European Standing
Committee B, 20 October 2005, cols. 1-28. Back
See headnote: 29944 -: HC 16-xxx (2007-08), chapter 18 (8 October
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
See headnote: (30107) 15299/08 and (30108) 15300/08: HC 19-i (2008-09),
chapter 2 (10 December 2008). Back
for the record of that debate. Back
See headnote: HC19-xxii (2008-09), chapter 10 (1 July 2009). Back
The Joint Statement is reproduced at the Annex to this chapter
of our Report. Back