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STRASBOURG, January 15 (Itar-Tass) - Agreement on Co-operation in Science and Technology between the European Union and Russia, which expires in February 2014, will be extended up to 2019.
A corresponding recommendation to the European Council has been approved in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday.
The European MPs noted the importance of science and engineering as one of the most dynamically developing sectors in the EU-Russian relations. Intensive co-operation in these fields, including a wide range of joint projects, is vital for strategic partnership between the European Union and Russia, they said.
The EU-Russia Agreement on Co-operation in Science and Technology was concluded in 2000, later extended in 2003 and 2009. The European Parliament's members believe that its renewal will be crucial in the context of ongoing negotiations on easing the visa regimen between the EU and Russia. They said the expected visa regimen liberalization should lead towards greater mobility of scientists and help implement the agreement in a more effective way, thus strengthening political, economic and cultural ties between the EU and Russia.
The European Parliament's budget committee said the European Union would allocate 550,000 euro for the agreement’s implementation in 2014-2019. These funds are to be spent on the organization of round-table discussions, seminars and meetings of politicians and scientists both in the EU and Russia.