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Estonia Supports Continuing Negotiations for European Union-Russia Co-operation Agreement


No. 134-E

At today’s discussion in Brussels among the European Union foreign ministers regarding preparations for the EU-Russia summit in June, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that progress for one partner in important areas should bring progress for the other partner in important areas.

“At the summit we will hear how Russia sees our future relations and the European Union can respond with how we see them,” said the Estonian foreign minister. “The European Union should demand that negotiations for a new comprehensive Co-operation Agreement continue,” he emphasised. 

Paet said that Estonia considers Russia joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to be a positive development, as it provides a good foundation for negotiations for a new agreement between the European Union and Russia with a comprehensive trade section. “Therefore it is important to ensure that Russia adheres to the requirements it accepted as a WTO member,” Paet noted. “For example, the ban on live animal imports from the European Union was not justified,” he added.

In talking about the Partnership for Modernisation with Russia, the Estonian foreign minister stated that in addition to continuing economic and technological co-operation it should also include measures for achieving a modern society, which requires fighting against corruption and following the principles of rule of law. The human rights situation in Russia is also an issue that should be given attention at the summit, Paet said.

Estonia continues to value Russia’s readiness to help resolve frozen conflicts, first and foremost the problems between Georgia and Transnistria. When it comes to the visa dialogue between the European Union and Russia, Paet said it is important that the common steps agreed upon in the action plan are taken. This includes aspects of the wider political context, for example negotiating the new agreement, following the principles of rule of law on the Russian side, and Russia’s relations with the European Union’s Eastern Partners.

The European Union-Russia summit will take place from 3-4 June in St. Petersburg. The main agenda includes the visa dialogue, energy matters, international issues, frozen conflicts, human rights, Partnership for Modernisation, and the new agreement, as well as the creation of the Eurasian Economic Community and the Customs Union.

Additional information:
Helen Ennok, press spokesperson, Estonia’s Permanent Representation to the EU
+32 474 98 16 57

+372 637 7654



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