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Future of Russia-EU relations not confrontation, but equal partnership — Duma speaker

June 24, 2014, 10:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW

State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin says the Russia-EU Treaty on Partnership and Cooperation of 1994 confirmed once again that Russia was always part of Europe

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MOSCOW, June 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Future of Russian-EU relations is not confrontation, but equal partnership, meanwhile, mistakes made by European politicians will be realized and rectified sooner or later, State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said on the the 20th anniversary of signing the Russia-EU Treaty on Partnership and Cooperation.

“The Russia-EU Treaty on Partnership and Cooperation, signed precisely 20 years ago, confirmed once again, just half a year after our democratic Constitution was enacted, that Russia always was part of Europe,” the politician said at his personal website on Tuesday. “We were seeking to attain mutual understanding with all European peoples several centuries ago,” he recalled, noting that “we have made our contributionto the development of European culture and protection of humanistic values.” This was fixed in legal documents in 1994, the parliament speaker noted.

“Unfortunately, not all in the European Union heed to Russian appeal to dialogue today,” he stated, noting that “traditions of our cooperation are undermined by indignant sanctions against Russia.” “Europe seems to forget suddenly about its own interests and principles under foreign pressure,” he added.

In this regard, Naryshkin noted that “despite all artificial barriers, guests from many European countries will come to us to attend a 3rd international parliamentary forum on June 26.”

“Meanwhile, I do not have any doubts that the future is not with confrontation, but equal partnership. Mistakes made by European politicians will be recognized and rectified. A new basic treaty will open a new fruitful stage in Russia-EU relations,” the State Duma speaker added.

The Russia-EU Treaty on Partnership and Cooperation was concluded on June 24, 1994. The document took effect on December 1, 1997 at first for ten years, and has been extended annually since 2007. The treaty remains a legal basis for relations between the EU and Russia until it is replaced with a new accord.

Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in May, President Vladimir Putin urged the EU “to advance consistently to conclusion of a new basic treaty on partnership and cooperation between Russia and the EU.” “To our mind, this document should contain a strong and absolutely concrete trade and economic section,” the president said.

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