Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

The EU-Russia summit will start with very hard positions

Adelina Marini, May 21, 2009

Very firm statements precede the EU-Russia summit which starts later today in the Russian city of Khabarovsk. For example, in an interview for the Russian news agency Novosti the high representative for security and foreign policy Javier Solana says that the EU is open for dialogue with Russia over the increase of European security but he doesn't see a necessity of total change in the current security system of which Moscow has some new ideas. On its part Russia said that it will not fall into protectionism if the EU makes similar steps.

The main topic at the summit will be the financial economic crisis and possible common actions that Russia and the EU might undertake to tackle it. Among the other issues that will be discussed in Khabarovsk are energy, climate change and many other global issues. The assistant to the Russian president Sergey Prihodko even said that European energy security would be in the centre of discussions.

According to one of the most popular Russian daily newspapers "Izvestia", the intrigue of the summit would be the Russian idea for energy reform. This is about the creation of entirely new energy charter which would guarantee the deliveries of different energy resources - from electricity to nuclear energy which, in fact, is for the first time proposed for international regulation. in the framework of energy.

Another proposal which is part of the new ideas of Moscow and presented for the first time by Medvedev in Helsinki earlier this year, is the separation of responsibilities among deliverers, transiting countries and consumers. After the relevant agreements are signed, then crises like the one with Ukraine in the beginning of the year would be avoided, writes "Izvestia".

The summit officially starts today with a dinner in Khabarovsk, attended by the Czech president Vaclav Klaus, whose country now presides the EU, the Commission president Jose Manuel Baroso and Javier Solana. Yesterday the Russian president Dmitry Medvedev arrived in Khabarovsk. And why Khabarovsk has been chosen to host the summit? In an interview for the TV programme "News on Saturday" Medvedev explained that the city has been chosen so that the EU representatives could see the other Russia - not the European one and the Ural one, nut the Far East. He adds that: "This would give them better chances to feel Russia and if this happens, our relations would be much more fundamental, more comprehensive".