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EU mission head: Russia summit ahead 'not routine'

January 24, 2014, 15:17 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia and the European Union “can become stronger and our citizens happier if we build our relations on trust", EU mission head in Russia Vygaudas Usackas said
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© EPA/LIETUVOS RYTAS - HANDOUT

MOSCOW, January 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia and the European Union were inseparable partners but disagreement had marred relations in recent years, EU mission head in Russia Vygaudas Usackas said on Friday ahead of a Russia-EU summit on January 28.

“This summit will not be a routine one," he said. "As we need trust, we have agreed that the leaders will discuss at the summit openly and sincerely the existing differences, including those that concern our common neighbors, and will consider possibilities for further development of strategic partnership, including towards formation of a common economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, and work out a new agreement between the EU and Russia,” Usackas said.

“Both sides are interested in an open conversation about problems and potentials of our strategic partnership,” he added. The diplomat said Russia-EU relations “are broad-ranging and multi-faceted — from trade and investment to science and environmental protection, from open political dialogue and discussion on human rights to cooperation on key international issues, Syria, Iran and Afghanistan”.

“The European Union and Russia are inseparable partners, but over recent years we have seen major differences emerging, for example failure to comply with commitments within the WTO framework, a different approach to relations between civil society and the state, and the Eastern Partnership,” the ambassador said. “These are the irritants that prevent us from fully unveiling potentials of our cooperation,” he said.

Russia and the European Union “can become stronger and our citizens happier if we build our relations on trust, compliance with international commitments, respect for independence, sovereignty and the free choice of our common neighbors”, the mission head added.

“It is important to see that not only leaders, but also business, civil society and representatives of the academic community and mass media create a common space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean through concrete examples,” he continued. “The EU and Russia are strategic partners. We share the continent and history, we are destined to create our common future together,” the diplomat said.

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