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Press Release
Jean-Claude Juncker at the EU-Russia summit: "Russia and the EU do not intend to divide Europe and adjacent regions into spheres and zones of influence"

Date of release : 10-05-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : EU-Russia Summit

The 15th EU-Russia summit was held in Moscow on 10 May 2005. The European Union delegation was led by Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg Prime Minister and current President of the European Council, assisted by Javier Solana, the EU’s High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, and by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. The Russian delegation was led by Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation.

Since the commitment made in Saint Petersburg in May 2003 to strengthen the partnership between the EU and Russia, the two delegations met again, two years on, in Moscow on 10 May 2005 to adopt the roadmaps that concretely identify cooperation in the four common spaces, that is, the economy; freedom, security and justice; external security; as well as research, education and culture.

During the joint press conference, the Prime Minister and current President of the European Council stated: "This journey to Moscow is more emotional than usual. Yesterday we commemorated the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and we did it in Moscow. We all remember vividly the struggle of the Russian people and the Red Army and we honour their role in the liberation of many European countries. I pay tribute to the energy, courage and determination of the Red Army. We are aware of our debt to them. Luxembourg and other European countries would not have regained their freedom without the courage of the Russian people. Yet, the ensuing Cold War was not a good time for Europe. It paralysed everything noble Europe has."

Prime Minister Juncker welcomed the fact that the European Union and Russia have been able to reach an agreement on the roadmaps in the four common spaces. "In Saint Petersburg, when this European city was celebrating its 300th anniversary, we set ourselves the objective of creating a common economic space. During later negotiations, we identified four common spaces."

"Today we have reached an agreement on the 4 spaces, including the most difficult elements," Jean-Claude Juncker stated emphatically.

Regarding the economic space, Jean-Claude Juncker emphasised that: "We offer Russian and EU investors a predictable and secure legal space in which they can invest with all confidence. It is quite normal that the EU places its full support behind Russia’s entry into the WTO."

Regarding freedom, security and justice, Jean-Claude Juncker stated that international crime "does not stop at the Russian border and does not stop at the border of the EU. We must work together to fight organised crime in all its forms."

Jean-Claude Juncker also explained the agreement on facilitation of visas and the next steps to be taken in readmission matter. "The results we have achieved are satisfactory."

"Regarding the external space, Russia and the EU do not intend to divide Europe and adjacent regions into spheres and zones of influence. All peoples and all nations are free, but they are also free to choose to engage in those regional cooperations when it seems fitting and when it serves their interests."

“Finally, we reached an agreement on the space of culture, education and research. Nothing is more important than shared culture. Jean Monnet, one of Europe’s founding fathers, once said that if he was to remake Europe, he would begin with culture. In fact, when it comes to building Europe, we must not forget to work together on education, culture and research.

With regard to the Baltic states, the Prime Minister stated: "We have slight differences when it comes to these questions, but we are working to improve the situation. History weighs heavily here. We want to reduce this weight on the coming generations. But we want to avoid by all means teaching anyone a lesson."

During the press conference, Jean-Claude Juncker also paid tribute to the President of the Russian Federation, "with whom we do not always agree on all subjects. We have divergent opinions, but we manage them in an atmosphere of friendship. I consider Vladimir Putin to be a friend of Europe. We work together on the basis of common convictions, on the basis of solid trust and optimism about our common together."

This page was last modified on : 11-05-2005

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