European Union and Russia partying ways
Ingo Manntoyfel, head of the Russian on-line and radio-desk of Deutsche Welle
The EU-Russia summit ended without any results. Relations between Brussels and Moscow reached an impasse and may even get worse, Ingo Manntoyfel says.
At the end of the EU-Russia summit, President of the Czech Republic chairing at the European Union, Vaclav Klaus said that this meeting has strengthened mutual trust between the EU and Russia. However, convinced European skeptic Vaclav Klaus's diplomatic politeness cannot be assessed too high.
At closer examination, it is easy to understand that the results of the summit are quite scarce. The leaders of Russia and the EU rather once again sounded the already known positions on issues, such as the new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, the Energy Charter, trade relations, the EU "Eastern Partnership" and much more.
It was impossible to achieve significant advances in this issue. Differences of opinion and even differences between the EU and Russia are still too great.
A new stumbling block was the concept of the EU "Eastern Partnership", on the EU relations with Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is clear that Russia criticizes the EU foreign policy. In its current form, "Eastern Partnership", albeit indirect, is directed against Russia.
On the one hand, Brussels has the sense to offer the countries of the region between the EU and Russia the possibility of rapprochement with the EU, because the opportunity to accept them to the organization is not foreseen in the near future. On the other hand, Russia must step back from earlier perceptions of the traditional area of influence.
"Eastern Partnership" only together with Russia
"Eastern Partnership", but in its present concept design is clearly a failure, since it does not take into account Russia's security interests and the special relationship between Russia and the European Union. Russia in this process should have a decent role, even more so a partnership or relationship exists or must be established between the EU and Russia.
It is obvious that Russia will not be satisfied with the usual role of the seventh country to join the "Eastern Partnership". And an agreement without Russia's participation would mean nothing other than its isolation from the European processes. This is not only wrong and dangerous, but also it does not meet Europe's interests.
The choice of meeting place - in Khabarovsk in the Far East was failure from this point of view. It is understandable that President Medvedev would thus show the power and geopolitical significance of Russia to the Europeans. But in reality, he demonstrated how Russia is away from Europe, and how far it can still move, if Europe expands to the East.
Actual improvement in the Russian-EU relations can only be achieved through bilateral rapprochement. Perhaps, therefore, the next EU-Russia summit would be worth to take place in Kaliningrad, Pskov and Smolensk.
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