BRUSSELS, December 2. /TASS/. Russia and the European Union should continue working on creation of a common space from Lisbon to Vladivostok, which is especially timely on the 20th anniversary of signing the Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation (PCA), most mechanisms of which are frozen at the moment, Russia’s Permanent Mission to the European Union said in a statement, devoted to the 20th anniversary of the Agreement.
"Given the dynamic development of the Eurasian Economic Union, the prospect of creating a common economic and humanitarian space from Lisbon to Vladivostok is growing in importance. In our view, the process of convergence among integration projects across the pan-European space could be facilitated by setting up direct contacts between the institutions of European and Eurasian integration. Today’s anniversary is undoubtedly an invitation for us to reflect on the promising potential of constructing a genuinely equal and mutually beneficial Russia-EU partnership based on respect for each other’s interests. We expect the EU to demonstrate political will to kick off cooperation on this continent-wide project," the statement reads.
"We are confident that long-term interests of our countries and peoples born in a common "European cradle" will ultimately prevail over fleeting political considerations. In spite of persistent efforts by opponents of Russia-EU cooperation, mutually beneficial relations between our countries continue to develop, generating social, cultural and academic links and new promising commercial projects. The European Union remains our largest trade and investment partner, while Russia is one of key export markets for EU states and the primary energy supplier to European markets," the Russian Representation said.
At the same time, the statement stresses that many mechanisms of the Russia-EU dialogue "developed under the PCA fell prey to short-sighted Western policies in the course of the Ukraine crisis. Bilateral sectoral dialogues became bogged down that used to provide effective mechanisms for direct cooperation between Russian federal executive bodies and relevant branches of the European Commission. A great number of channels of cooperation were frozen. In material breach of PCA provisions the EU imposed sectoral (economic) sanctions against Russian companies. Additional artificial barriers were put up in the path towards liberalisation of the visa regime for Russian and EU citizens, including the openly discriminatory EU ban on issuance of Schengen visa for residents of Crimea," the document reads.
The Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation "was signed on 24 June 1994 on the Greek island Kerkyra (Corfu). It was concluded for a period of 10 years, subject to annual automatic renewal, and still remains in force today." At the Russia-EU summit in London in 2005, the parties agreed to have a new agreement to replace the current document. The talks began in July 2008, but after twelve rounds they remain suspended.