The 32nd EU-Russia summit, due to be held in Brussels tomorrow, will consist of “a meeting among principals and key advisors in a format conducive to in-depth political discussion followed by a working lunch in the same format,” a press release from the European Council said. A press conference will be held at the end of the lunch.
The EU will be represented by President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and by President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso. Catherine Ashton Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, will also take part. Russia will be represented by President Vladimir Putin, accompanied by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
This summit is an opportunity for a genuine joint reflection on the nature and direction of the EU-Russia strategic partnership, said President Van Rompuy ahead of the meeting. He said the EU and Russia have many common interests that encourage both sides to work together constructively. ”We have also had however a number of differences which need to be discussed and clarified,” Van Rompuy emphasized. ”At this moment, we must focus on our common neighbourhood, regional integration processes, trade questions and international commitments," he stressed.
European Commission President Barroso said both Russia and the EU have much to gain by reinforcing strategic cooperation, but stressed the need for mutual understanding and strategic trust. “This is what we will try to consolidate at our next Summit, by an open discussion on our common interests, as well as on our differences and the best ways to overcome them. An honest, forward-looking dialogue about the future of our economic and political relations is critically important for the benefit of our people and for a democratic, prosperous and stable continent," Barroso concluded.
Source: EU Neighbourhood Info