EU-Russia summit focuses on Eastern Partnership and combatting terrorism
Meeting on 28 January in Brussels, EU and Russian leaders discussed a range of topics, including the Eastern Partnership, Ukraine, trade and human rights
The meeting gave leaders the chance to review a range of topics, including economic integration initiatives, trade and the WTO, international commitments in the areas of rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, and foreign affairs challenges in Syria and Iran.
Leaders held a frank and open discussion on their relationship with common neighbours, in particular the Eastern Partnership countries. Speaking after the summit, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy underlined the need to avoid different interpretations and misunderstandings of what the Eastern partnership is trying to achieve. Consequently, EU and Russian leaders have agreed to pursue bilateral consultations at expert level on future Eastern Partnership association agreements.
President Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso both reiterated the EU's conviction that different trade agreements can interact constructively with each other. The EU Presidents also stressed the need to respect sovereign countries' freedom of choice to choose their own paths.
Joint declaration on combatting terrorism
During the summit, leaders also adopted a joint declaration on combatting terrorism. They agreed to further develop the EU-Russia strategic partnership in the area of combatting and preventing terrorism, and in particular they plan to:
- consider possibilities for further strengthening cooperation in response to crimes committed by terrorists and organised crime groups
- expand cooperation in exchanging best practices in counter-terrorism and training experts in counter-terrorism
- intensify cooperation in the UN framework as well as other multilateral fora
Other topics discussed
Leaders discussed the fundamentals of the EU-Russia partnership, in particular the nature and direction of the strategic partnership. The outcome of their discussions will contribute to the development of a new comprehensive agreement for EU-Russia relations to replace the current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. This will be further discussed at the next EU-Russia summit, set to take place in Sochi in June 2014.
Press conference highlights
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