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Press Release
Jean Asselborn confident that the “four roadmaps” will be finalised in time for the EU-Russia Summit on 10 May 2005

Date of release : 01-04-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council (Troika)

Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration and current President of the Council of the European Union, held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on 1 April in Luxembourg as part of the EU-Russia Partnership Council. Alongside Jean Asselborn, the European Union delegation included Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy.

The two sides discussed EU-Russia relations, in particular the ongoing negotiations on the "four spaces". The Partnership Council also focussed on a number of topical international and regional issues: the Western Balkans, the Middle East Peace Process, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Cyprus, Moldova, Georgia, the Darfour crisis in Sudan and, of course, the recent events in Kyrgyzstan.

At the end of the meeting, Jean Asselbon declared to the press:

“We had a very fruitful exchange this morning, in this second meeting of the Permanent Partnership Council  in Foreign Ministers’ formation.

We had the occasion to note with great satisfaction that general progress has been accomplished in the work on the four common road maps. Indeed, at the EU-Russia Summit in St. Petersburg in May 2003, the EU and Russia agreed to intensify their strategic cooperation in four areas, called "four spaces": economy; freedom, security and justice; external security; research and education.

Through the creation of these common spaces, the EU and Russia will be able to cooperate more closely on common concerns and interests, as well as on cross-border issues. We will strengthen economic relations as well as our cooperation in the political and security fields.

In that way, we will further increase the tangible contents of our partnership. We will be able to work together more intensively to promote our common values such as respect for the rule of law, human rights and democratic values.

Discussions today allowed us to significantly narrow down the number of outstanding issues in the four spaces. Our experts will work intensively during the month of April to finalise the roadmaps. I am convinced that the four roadmaps will be finalised and that we can adopt them as a package at the EU-Russia summit that takes place on the 10th of May in Moscow. We will have further occasions to discuss the outstanding issues at the upcoming Justice and Home Affairs Permanent Partnership Council and the Political Directors’ troika in Moscow.

The EU also expressed its satisfaction at the successful launch of regular human rights consultations between the EU and Russia on the 1st of March. These consultations were held in a very open and constructive atmosphere and allowed each party to address issues of concern in human rights matters. We do look forward to a second round of consultations in the autumn of this year."

This page was last modified on : 01-04-2005

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