MOSCOW, January 31. /TASS/. Russia and the European Union (EU) will be adapting their Partnership and Cooperation Agreement to new realities after the United Kingdom leaves the EU, Russia’s Permanent Representative at the EU Vladimir Chizhov told TASS on Thursday.
"As for our relations with the EU, no matter what Brexit may be, settling the European Union’s relations with London does not mean settling the European Union’s problems arising from this event with the rest of the world," the Russian envoy noted.
"Many countries are posing a question already now about how to adapt the existing agreements, including the 1994 Russia-EU Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation and the associated joint documents, to new realities," the diplomat noted.
Each time in the process of the EU’s enlargement, Moscow and Brussels held talks, signed and then ratified protocols on extending the effect of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement to new members, the Russian envoy said.
"Now the protocol will apparently be of different nature, reflecting the European Union’s narrowing and not its enlargement. But this does not mean that it will be easy to work out a protocol," he pointed out.
As an example, the Russian envoy cited quotas on some commodities, such as metals, mineral fertilizer and grain, which the EU used to calculate, taking into account all its 28 member states.
"Correspondingly, they have to be recalculated, considering the UK’s exit," the Russian envoy said.
"The European Union’s other trade partners face similar issues. I periodically discuss this theme with my counterparts - envoys and we have similar concerns," Chizhov stressed.
EU-UK divorce deal to minimize negative consequences
In any case, Brexit is a negative event for London and Brussels, Chizhov said.
"The goal of all the efforts taken by the sides is to minimize negative aspects rather than to gain any advantages," the Russian envoy said.
"Neither side will get any advantages. The question is who will be affected to a larger extent," he stressed.
In the diplomat’s opinion, the UK’s exit from the EU without an agreement will be the most painful scenario.
"Practical problems will emerge as the minimum of contacts will have to be maintained in one way or another with regard to the customs regime and the maintenance of transport links," the Russian envoy explained.
"At the time of Brexit, airliners should not be allowed to fall down to the ground from the sky and ferries across the English Channel to get anchored. So, there will be some accords," the Russian envoy said.