Helsinki, 22 October 1999
EU-Russia Summit Joint Statement
| JOINT STATEMENT
by the President of the European Council, P. Lipponen, the President of the European Commission, R. Prodi, the Secretary General of the Council, High Representative, J. Solana and Prime Minister V. Putin representing B.N. Yeltsin, President of the Russian Federation
Today´s EU/Russia Summit, the fourth since the entry into force of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) is an important event in the relations between the European Union and the Russian Federation at the dawn of a new century.
This Summit provided a unique opportunity to discuss the ways to strengthen our partnership. We also took stock of the state of implementation of the PCA, exchanged views on recent developments in the Russian Federation and in the European Union, reviewed the state of play in the Northern Dimension initiative and our cooperation in that context, considered the next steps in enhancing cooperation in combating organised crime and other forms of criminal activities and discussed international issues of common interest.
We welcomed the Common Strategy of the European Union on Russia adopted in June 1999 by the European Council in Cologne as well as the Medium-term Strategy for developing relations of the Russian Federation with the European Union for 2000-2010 which was officially presented at the Summit by PM Putin. PM Lipponen briefed on the progress achieved so far and the next steps to be taken to implement the Common Strategy of the EU following a work plan established by the EU Presidency. Both sides expressed their readiness to examine how to intensify their cooperation further on the basis of these two documents.
The documents highlight the significance both sides attach to a close political and economic partnership and its further development within the framework of the PCA. They are based on common values such as respect of the principles of democracy and human rights, the rule of law and the market economy and share the common objectives of enhancing political stability and economic prosperity in Europe.
Based on the preparatory work done by the EU Foreign Ministers Troika meeting with Foreign Minister I. Ivanov in Moscow on 7 October, the Parties reached an agreement on measures to enhance EU/Russia political dialogue in order to make it more flexible and efficient. In particular, new possibilities opened up with the development of the CFSP and the appointment of the Secretary General of the EU Council and High Representative for the CFSP will be considered. We encouraged the efforts to make the dialogue more results oriented. We also welcomed the recent talks held between Mr. Niinistö, President of the Council (ECOFIN) and his Russian counterparts on how to develop a specific dialogue to support the development by the Russian Government of measures to promote sustained economic growth.
The EU reaffirmed its readiness to support the efforts of the Russian Government to revive the economy by improving investment climate, restructuring of enterprises, in particular in the banking sector as well as ensuring a proper fiscal framework through the PCA and Tacis as well as within the IFIs.
We took note of the outcome of the meeting of the Cooperation Committee in Brussels on 8 October and reaffirmed our aim to promote continued expansion of two-way trade and investment. In this context, we recalled the importance of Russiaís accession to the WTO which would enable it to participate fully in the WTO Millenium Round.
The European Union and the Russian Federation exchanged views on the situation in the Northern Caucasus.
We noted the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam with its important implications for the EUís Common Foreign and Security Policy which Mr. Solana elaborated on. In addition, PM Lipponen and President Prodi reported on the EUís enlargement process, which was now picking up speed. In this context, we welcomed the detailed discussions that took place at the last Cooperation Committee meeting. The Parties agreed to continue such discussions on a regular basis in the relevant PCA bodies.
We noted with satisfaction that preparations were well under way for a Foreign Ministers´ Conference on the Northern Dimension on 11/12 November in Helsinki. We are looking forward to this major event bringing together, for the first time, the EU Member States and the Partner Countries of the region to discuss the specific challenges and concerns of the European North.
We welcomed the progress achieved in the current negotiations on the Multilateral Nuclear and Environment Programme in Russia (MNEPR). We encouraged all the relevant parties to intensify their efforts with a view to concluding the agreement as soon as possible. This agreement would establish a legal framework allowing sound implementation of projects dealing with nuclear waste storage and disposal particularly in North-West Russia.
Recognising the need to enhance our cooperation in combating criminal activities, we welcomed the launching of exploratory talks between EUROPOL and the competent Russian authorities with a view to concluding eventually an agreement. Furthermore, we noted with satisfaction the progress made in drafting a joint action plan against organised crime and are looking forward to the earliest possible finalisation of work after the conference on organised crime to be held in Helsinki from 14 to 16 December 1999. In this context, we stressed the importance of common efforts to tackle the problem of money laundering. Adoption of appropriate legislation in Russia as well as concerted action is crucial in this context. We also exchanged information on the outcome of the European Councilís recent special session in Tampere as well as on the results of the G8 ministerial meeting held in Moscow a few days ago.
We confirmed that our aim was a successful OSCE Summit in Istanbul in November and agreed to focus our efforts on reaching an agreement on the Charter on European Security Ė a comprehensive and substantive document worthy of adoption at the summit level. It should confirm adherence to the UN Charter, reaffirm the principles of the Helsinki Final Act which retain continued validity and applicability in the dynamic security environment in the OSCE area.
We agreed to continue to cooperate closely in the efforts to consolidate peace in Kosovo on the basis of full implementation of UNSC Resolution 1244/99 and recalled the great importance of effective implementation of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe in promoting peace, stability and post-conflict cooperation in the region.
We concluded that developing an EU/Russia strategic partnership will contribute substantially to peace, stability and economic prosperity in Europe as a whole and will help it meet the challenges of the next millenium.