Climate change and energy issues dominated the day’s discussions at the third-country summit between the EU and Russia. President Medvedev was careful to stress that Russia has already met its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and that the country will further reduce its emissions. Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt welcomed Russia’s constructive attitude to climate change, while emphasising that cooperation between the EU and Russia on climate change needs to be further strengthened.
Russia important ahead of Copenhagen
"We are in agreement on the two degree target and the need for emissions reductions from both developed and developing countries in order to reach it. Russia is one of the world’s greatest emitting countries, so it has an important role to play if the world is to reach a climate agreement in Copenhagen”, said Fredrik Reinfeldt at the press conference after the meeting, at which President Dmitry Medvedev, President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana also participated.
José Manuel Barroso welcomed Russia’s raised ambitions on climate change. He stressed the importance of success in Copenhagen.
“We cannot negotiate with nature. We cannot negotiate with physics. We cannot negotiate with science. I have asked my staff to cooperate closely with their Russian colleagues in order to work out the details of Russia’s increased commitment on these issues”, he said.
Agreement on energy security
Energy efficiency and energy security were the other main discussion topics of the day. The EU and Russia are interdependent energy partners. At the summit, the EU emphasised the importance of stability, transparency and predictability, in order to ensure that energy relations run smoothly in the future.
The energy agreement between the EU and Russia that was signed on Monday in Moscow was also welcomed. The agreement will sound the alarm when there is a risk of a new energy crisis. The system is known as an enhanced Early Warning Mechanism and will help to avoid interruptions in energy supply from Russia to the EU in the future.
Agreement between EU and Russia
Other issues that were discussed at the summit were the economic and financial crisis, trade issues, human rights and democracy. On trade, both Fredrik Reinfeldt and José Manuel Barroso stressed the importance of Russia joining the World Trade Organisation, while Dmitry Medvedev highlighted the discussions on visa exemption between the EU and Russia.
“Today’s visa system prevents normal exchange between Russia and the EU. We must continue to work to resolve this issue”, said Dmitry Medvedev.
In connection with the summit, a number of agreements on Cross Border Cooperation were also signed between the European Commission and Russia.