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Russia-EU summit to focus on economic ties, Syria and Iran - Kremlin aide

January 24, 2014, 17:11 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia and EU seek to ensure broader cooperation in all directions - economic, political. scientific and humanitarian

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MOSCOW, January 24. /ITAR-TASS/. At their summit on January 28, Russia and the European Union will discuss trade and economic cooperation, the situation around Syria and around Iran’s nuclear program, Russian president’s aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Friday.

The summit “will discuss different aspects of trade-economic cooperation, including in the energy sphere,” he said, adding that its participants were also expected “to exchange opinions on topical issues of global economy, of course with due regard for Russia’s G20 presidency and with taking into consideration priorities of our G8 presidency”.

In reply to the query whether the South Stream gas pipeline construction would be discussed at the summit, he said “of course South Stream issue will be touched upon in energy discussion”.

The summit will also focus at length on “prospects for the development of Russia-EU relations,” and there will be an exchange of opinions “on what moves to make to assign a truly strategic nature to it and to ensure an impetus towards broader cooperation in all directions - in economic, political, scientific and humanitarian spheres,” he said.

Besides, plans were to discuss discriminatory application of the Third Energy Package against Russian companies within the framework of South Stream construction among some other unsettled issues - EU’s insistent attempts to impose a Trans-Caspian gas pipeline despite environmental risks and the lack of consensus among the Caspian states, as well as an ongoing unfair anti-monopoly investigation of the European Commission into Russia’s Gazprom gas giant.

Negotiations on a new framework agreement between Russia and the EU would be reviewed with taking into consideration Russia’s WTO entry and Eurasian integration processes that were gathering pace, the Kremlin aide said. The summit would also focus on the implementation of the joint Partnership for Modernization initiative, within which180 projects worth about 15 billion euros were being implemented in the sphere of energy efficiently, transport, pharmaceutics, agriculture and science, Ushakov said.

Russia would also want to continue negotiations on the easing of travel restrictions, he said. “Visa abolishment would become a powerful impetus for a further rapprochement of Russia and

The European Union is Russia’s strategic and biggest trade-economic partner, accounting for about 50 percent of Russia’s foreign trade. Russia for its part, is the third-biggest export-import market for the EU after the US and China.

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