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Yekaterinburg summit to give new impetus to Russia-EU trade relations - head of EU delegation to Russia

May 31, 2013, 16:46 UTC+3

The summit will discuss economic cooperation and issues of the visa regime

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YEKATERINBURG, May 31 (Itar-Tass) - Trade and economic relations between Russia and the European Union can receive a fresh impetus at the upcoming Russia - EU summit in Yekaterinburg. This issue was discussed on Friday at a meeting of Vice Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region Yakov Silin with Head of the EU Delegation to Russia Fernando Valenzuela. He arrived in the Middle Urals to take part in the summit, as well as attend events of the Days of Europe Festival, which was officially opened in Yekaterinburg on Friday, the information department of the Sverdlovsk governor told Itar-Tass.

According to the head of the EU delegation to Russia, the Days of Europe and the upcoming summit are called upon to create the basis for closer cooperation in various fields. “For us it is very important to familiarise with your region, because we know how big the dynamics of its development is. Our task is to work on the creation of the basis for future cooperation of businesses. Therefore, one of the most important issues of the summit will be the negotiations on a new agreement between the EU and Russia. The agreement’s clause dealing with trade and investment should get a new impetus,” Fernando Valenzuela said.

According to him, the EU is Russia’s trade partner number one, and Russia is so far only third for the European Union. “About 70 percent of investment in Russia comes from the EU. I receive from the ambassadors of the EU member states and representatives of the Association of European Businesses (AEB) information about the positive climate for doing business in Russia and in the Sverdlovsk Region. It is also interesting that, despite another stage of the financial and economic crisis the EU is going through, the trade and investment volume with Russia continues to grow,” Valenzuela said. According to him, the European markets are currently mature enough and therefore have a very modest potential for growth, while the Russian market has incredible growth potential.

“The summit will provide an excellent opportunity to discuss at the highest level all the important issues of mutual cooperation. Certainly, the summit will discuss economic cooperation, issues of the visa regime. In addition, the views on the international situation will be discussed, as Russia is presiding over the G20,” Valenzuela emphasised.

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