17 Nov 2004
Nezavisimaya gazeta carries an interview with presidential envoy forrelations with the EU Sergei Yastrzhembsky, beginning on the first page. Theinterview is entitled Those people have brought the spirit of primitiveRussophobia to the EU - Yastrzhembsky is convinced that representatives ofthe former socialist camp are trying to spoil relations between Moscow andBrussels. According to the interview, there was never a set date for anagreement on the 4 spaces. The change of Commission has slowed progress, butafter many rounds of consultations, the two sides' positions have beenbrought closer. The Common Spaces on education, research and culture[humanitarian space in Russian parlance] is complete and work on theeconomic space is almost complete. He said the Common Space of internalsecurity is the most difficult, not least because it involves many questionsaffecting the interests of many agencies in both Russia and the EU, whichcomplicates the search for compromises.On the impact of the 10 new Member States on the EU, he notes that some ofthe parliamentarians from these post-communist countries brought into the EPa spirit of confrontation and intolerance towards Russia. He says that suchpeople with historic complexes against Russia have tried to exploit theBeslan tragedy to foster a climate of Russophobia in the EP. This minoritygroup is trying to complicate EU-Russia dialogue. He said that bearers of aprimitive Russophobia may also appear in the new COM and that he haswarned EU colleagues not to allow such radicals to take the initiative informulating EU positions on Russia. He said that many representatives of theold EU MS are also worried about this. (CR)Vremya novostei has published an interview with Javier Solana entitledRussia-EU summit will be productive.In its supplement on religions, Nezavisimaya gazeta carries in article byGiovanni Bensi entitled European roots are being cut. According to thearticle, European Christians are disappointed by the fact that that there isno mention of the continent's Christian roots in the European Constitution.Kommersant carries a brief article entitled European Parliament is hearingnew European Commission members.The Moscow Times has published an article entitled European Union to buymore steel from Russia (Bloomberg report).
11 Nov 2004
The media continue to comment on the postponement of the EU-Russia summit.Much of the comment is devoted to yesterday's press conferences bypresidential envoy for relations with the EU Yastrzhembsky and Deputy FMChizhov. Izvestia points to an apparent change in the mood of the Russiandiplomats who claim that the summit is needed not for signing documents butfor keeping up the dynamics. Gazeta recalls that the signing of a newstrategic partnership programme was expected to become the main outcome ofthe postponed summit. Vremya novostei reiterates comments prevailing inyesterday's dailies that the true reason for the summit's postponement wasthe disagreement over the strategic partnership agreement and quotes theEuropean Commission's spokesperson Emma Udwin as saying that there are areaswhere the Commission would have wished to see the Russians to be moreforthcoming. Nezavisimaya gazeta believes that by proposing to postpone thesummit, Moscow has demonstrated readiness to defend its position.The following articles have been published: (i) Kommersant: New date for the Russia-EU summit not to becoordinated before December (brief article); (ii) Izvestia: The party meeting is not cancelled, the partymeeting is postponed by Ekaterina Grigoryeva (front page); (iii) Vremya novostei: They stumbled over the four spaces byAlexander Mineyev (front page); (iv) Vremya novostei: interview with Deputy FM Chizhov(reiterating the official position on the summit postponement and commentingon the Kaliningrad transit of goods issue); (v) Gazeta: The suit is too narrow, to tightly for Russia'sshoulders by Lyudmila Romanova; (vi) Nezavisimaya gazeta: European diamond cuts Russian diamondby Evgeny Grigoryev; (vii) The Moscow Times: EU envoy seeks new status for Russia bySteve Gutterman.Vremya novostei carries an article by Alexander Mineyev entitled TheBarroso list to be approved with a bang.
Kommersant carries an article by Sergey Ryzhkin entitled Air bridge closedfor repair. According to the article, there will be no more discountKaliningrad-Moscow flights by Aeroflot beginning late November, allegedlydue to repair works in Kaliningrad's Khrabrovo airport. In the paper's view,it was rather a pretext used by Aeroflot to give up unprofitable flightsthat were introduced a year ago primarily for political reasons - inreaction to the introduction of transit visas by Lithuania for theKaliningrad ground travel.The Moscow Times re-prints an editorial from the Financial Times entitledEurope bears the burden of the euro's steady rise.
9 Nov 2004
Moscow has asked that an EU-Russia summit scheduled for 11 November bepostponed. Interfax quotes a high-ranking source in the Russian ForeignMinistry as saying that Russia's proposal has been prompted by theprotracted building of the European Commission, which does not facilitatethe efficient preparation of the summit. The media, however, claim that thetrue reason for Moscow's request could be the failure of Moscow and Brusselsto agree on a new cooperation policy. Kommersant (Sat) notes that Moscow hasbeen seeking a privileged partner status, while the EU sees Russia as equalto its other partners within the Wider Europe - new neighbourhood concept.The Monday issue of Kommersant goes on to comment on the true reasons forthe summit's postponement by saying that Europe does not want to take intoaccount Russia's interests, since the anti-Russian tendencies in the EU havegained considerable momentum after its enlargement. As it has become clearon the eve of the cancelled summit, the EU seeks concessions from Russia onall issues, while restricting itself, in return, to talk about taking intoaccount Russian concerns on trade, economic, military and politicalconsequences of the EU enlargement, adds the daily (Also see Economicheadlines).The Moscow Times notes that a negotiating document has shown that Russia andthe EU were still far apart on key external security issues that Brusselssays must be an integral part of the accord.Gazeta also sees another reason for the summit's postponement - in thepaper's view, the Russian President would have to answer unpleasantquestions in the Hague, including those on the political reform and theYukos case, while in December, when the new European Commission is approved,those issues are most likely to be resolved in Russia.Izvestia highlights that it was the first postponed EU-Russia summit, and atime-out was needed to conceal existing contradictions for the time being.The paper adds that the lack of agreement on the strategic partnershipaccord was multiplied by no clarity on the Kaliningrad transit of goods andno progress on visa-free talks.The following articles have been published: (i) Kommersant (Sat): Russia and the EU lost their way in fourspaces - Vladimir Putin's visit to the Hague cancelled by Pavel Belov (afront-page article published under a general title Scandal); (ii) Kommersant (Mon): Summit postponed till worse times byBoris Volkhonsky; (iii) Kommersant (Mon): Comment by Andrey Kolesnikov; (iv) Gazeta: The party meeting is not cancelled - Russia - EUsummit postponed indefinitely by Lyudmila Romanova (front page); (v) Izvestia: Time-out Russia - EU by Ekaterina Grigoryeva(front page); (vi) The Moscow Times: EU summit put off at Moscow's request byEmma Thomasson.The Moscow Times reports in an article by John Chalmers entitled Solanadoubts poll timetable that Javier Solana, questioning the Western and Iraqigovernment line, said yesterday that there was little prospect of Iraqholding national elections on time in January because of deterioratingsecurity.The Moscow Times carries a brief article entitled EU-Iran deal.
5 Nov 2004
Vremya novostei publishes an interview with William Hill, head of the OSCEmission in Moldova, who unambiguously rejects the accusation that the EU'sassistance for strengthening the Moldovan-Transdniestrian border is aimed atblocking Transdniestrian exports to Ukraine. Mr Hill stresses that theinterests of the EU and the OSCE with regard to the control of theTransdniestria border fully coincide and aim at stopping trafficking inhuman beings, narcotics and illegal arms exports. He also reiterates hissupport for an international peacekeeping force with Russia's participationas a means of increasing confidence and advancing the negotiations process.The interview is entitled The peacekeeping mechanism in Transdniestria isexhausted.Several dailies report that the new composition of the European Commissionis to be discussed by the EU summit in Brussels. The following articles havebeen published: (i) Vremya novostei: New list of Barroso (brief article); (ii) Rossiyskaya gazeta: Barroso's second attempt by MaximMakarychev.Nezavisimaya gazeta publishes an article by Ivan Sas entitled Andavacreated on the EU's recommendation. The article reports on yesterday'scourt hearing of the Aeroflot case, where a testimony by the company'sformer director general Tikhonov was heard. According to Tikhonov, the ideaof creating a single treasury centre in Switzerland, through which part ofAeroflot foreign currency revenues were allegedly stolen by the defendants,was put forward by Tacis experts in 1995.Vedomosti carries an article by John Miller entitled The truth isunpleasant commenting on the report on EU economic development presented toEU leaders yesterday.
1 Nov 2004
The media report on the signing of the European Constitution in Rome. Themedia stress that the Constitution must be approved by the nationalparliaments of the 25 EU member states, and at least ten EU nations plan toput it to a referendum, the outcome of which is difficult to predict, asIzvestia believes. In Kommersant's view, this act could be called historic,if it were not for numerous factors that make one doubt whether thisdocument will ever start working.The following articles have been published: (i) Kommersant (Sat): European Constitution signed but notadopted by Boris Volkhonsky; (ii) Gazeta: Big constitution for big Europe - EU as a model ofa new world order by Andrey Vetvinsky; (iii) Izvestia (Sat): A European Constitution signed in Rome byEvgeny Shestakov; (iv) Izvestia (Sat): A stronger Europe on the world arena byJavier Solana; (v) Vremya novostei: Complete Roman law - every EU member canbury the European Constitution by Katerina Labetskaya; (vi) Novaya gazeta: New nation - Europeans by AlexanderMineyev; (vii) The Moscow Times: EU Constitution (brief article).Vremya novostei reports on Romano Prodi's assessment of the EU progresstowards achieving the Lisbon goals in an article by Alexander Mineyeventitled Europe should conquer national egoism - otherwise, it will nottake over America.Kommersant reports on the decision of Rocco Buttiglione to step down as aCommissioner-designate in an article by Pavel Shlykov entitled RoccoButtiglione will not become a European Commissioner.
Prepared by the Press and Information and Economic Sections for the Head of
Delegation of the European Commission in Russia
22 Oct 2004
Delegation Gazeta has published an article by Alexander Danilchyuk entitled They needthe Turkish coast. The article quotes German FM Joschka Fischer ascomparing the day of Turkey's future accession to the EU to the D-Day.Izvestia carries an article by Elena Shesternina entitled The Baltic stateswill seek compensation for occupation from Moscow through the EU.Vremya novostei carries an article by Andrey Zlobin entitled Nuclearbargaining appropriate. According to the article, British, German andFrench representatives yesterday tried to persuade Iran to give up work onuranium enrichment. Commenting on the talks, the paper concludes that theEU has actually supported the construction of Iran's Bushehr nuclear powerstation by Russia.Trud reports on the so far unresolved Kaliningrad transit issue in anarticle by Irina Smirnova entitled Ticket to the Baltic Sea. The dailyquotes Konstantin Kosachev, head of the State Duma's International AffairsCommittee, as voicing hope that the upcoming EU-Russia summit will give apositive impulse to the resolution of the issue.Vedomosti has published an article by Tobias Bak entitled EU decided tohelp only the poor - major exporters will get no privileges.Vedomosti carries an article by James Canter entitled Coca-Cola reachedagreement with the EU.
21 Oct 2004
Vremya novostei has published an article by Timofei Bordachev entitled Sadsummit. According to the article, the upcoming EU-Russia summit is beingprepared in the atmosphere of notable scepticism. Pointing to controversiesin the EU-Russia relations, Bordachev notes that although the EU has alwaysdeclared that Russia is a strategic partner, European negotiators have beenvery tough with Russia. Voicing verbal concerns about the worsening of thesocial and economic situation in Russia, in reality, the EU puts pressure onMoscow with a view to depriving Russian companies of their naturalcompetitive advantages, says Bordachev. As a result, the EU gets immediatebenefits, but destroys trust thereby destroying the whole project of thecommon future, the article goes on to say.Trud reports on FM Lavrov's meeting with the EU Troika in the Hague in anarticle by Gennady Charodeyev entitled Russia and the EU are like vodka andcaviar.Novye Izvestia carries an article by Svetlana Gamova entitled EU may make aproposal to EU and Moldova. The article reports on a EU forum, which isbeing held in Lucerne, to discuss further EU enlargement.The Moscow Times has published an article by Dutch Foreign Minister BernardBot entitled Why Russia and the EU need each other. A Russian-languageversion of the article appeared in Izvestia on Monday.Izvestia carries an article by Vladimir Bogdanov entitled Poisonedministers. According to the article, 55 toxic chemical elements have beenfound in blood tests of 14 EU health ministers.Vremya novostei has published a brief article entitled Some new EUcountries do not meet criteria for euro introduction.
20 Oct 2004
Parlamentskaya gazeta has published a front-page interview with Chairman ofthe State Duma's International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev. Theinterview is entitled We tend to trust the EU so far. In particular,Kosachev comments on the recent Duma hearings devoted to the PCA Protocolratification by the Duma, scheduled for 22 October. According to Kosachev,for the first time in the Duma's history, a parliamentary hearing was heldseveral hours after a draft's submission to the Duma. It was also for thefirst time, that EU representatives attended such a hearing. Kosachevfurther notes that such a format allowed getting immediate responses fromforeign participants to concerns voiced by the Russian side. However,according to the interview, no solution has so far been found to some of theissues raised at the hearing, including those mentioned by Sergey Dankvert,head of the Russian Federal Service on Veterinary Control. The major issue,according to the interview, is the absence of a single veterinarycertificate in the EU. Commenting on the unresolved problems of theKaliningrad transit of goods, Kosachev notes that Moscow does not have anygrounds so far to believe that this is part of deliberate policies by the EUthat tries to impose its suppliers on the Kaliningrad region. The Chairmanfurther says that he is increasingly concerned about Lithuania's approach tothe solution of the Kaliningrad transit issue and voices surprise over theEU silence on the problems of Russian-speaking minorities in Latvia andEstonia.Kosachev also comments on the recommendations adopted at the parliamentaryhearings noting that he intends to support the Protocol's ratification.Rossiyskaya gazeta has published an article by Sergey Karaganov entitledRussia - the EU: a new stage? According to the article, the Novembersummit may launch a new stage in the EU-Russia relations.Parlamentskaya gazeta comments on the recent visit of a State Dumadelegation to Finland in an article entitled The Finnish gate to Brussels.Izvestia carries an article by Alexey Bausin entitled U.S. and EU slammedthe Belarus election.Gazeta reports on a confidential report prepared by the Israeli ForeignMinistry, which predicts a confrontation in the EU-Israeli relations. Thearticle by Alexander Danilchyuk is entitled EU is against the Israelistate.
19 Oct 2004
Nezavisimaya gazeta once again raises the Kaliningrad transit issue. Notingthat beginning 1 January 2005, only holders of foreign travel passports willbe allowed to travel to and from Kaliningrad through Lithuania, the papercomments that from that date, the Russian Constitution that guaranteesfreedom of movement from Kamchatka to Kaliningrad will be no longereffective. The article by Alexander Ryabushev is entitled Kaliningraddrifted further from Russia.Izvestia (Mon) has published an article by Dutch Foreign Minister BernardBot entitled Why Russia and the EU need each other.An opinion column of Izvestia (13/10) carries an article by Alexey Pankin,editor-in-chief of the Sreda magazine, entitled On the western criticism ofRussia's authoritarianism. Referring to the West's sharp criticism of therecent political reform proposals put forward by President Putin, includingthe critical remarks by next Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, AlexeyPankin laments that the West voiced no criticism of the 1993 politicalreform in Russia, when the political initiatives were introduced through thearmed blockade of the elected parliament. The author further notes thatduring the 1993 and 1996 Duma elections, he headed the EU-funded missions onthe elections' media coverage, which prepared critical reports. However, inboth cases, the observers were allegedly stopped .
15 Oct 2004
Kommersant has published an article by Nargiz Asadova entitled Israel islosing Europe. According to the daily, a recent confidential report by theIsraeli foreign ministry carries a conclusion that Israeli relations withthe EU will completely deteriorate in ten years, if no remedy is found tothe conflict between Israel and Palestine.Vedomosti carries an article by Alexander Silonov entitled EC steps upinvestigation of the Intel case.
12 Oct 2004
Kommersant carries an article by Sergey Minayev entitled Europeans decidedto catch up with America and to surpass it. The article refers to Westernmedia reports, which say that the EU's ad hoc group will prepare a reportcalling on all EU countries to catch up with America and to surpass it.Europeans have therefore become similar to Russians; however, neither haveso far been successful in the race, says the paper.The Moscow Times reports in an article entitled Awakening of Kaliningrad'sfish village smells of success that the Project Financing Company has fileda project with the Kaliningrad city government to build a modern replica ofthe Fish Village quarter, which was destroyed during World Was II bombingraids. The paper stresses that the project, supported by the EU-RussiaCooperation Programme, was initiated by Kaliningrad's former vice governor,Pavel Fyodorov.The Moscow Times reports that French Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy hasrepeated his criticism of fiscal dumping, speaking out against EU statescutting their corporate taxes while benefiting from EU structural funds. Thebrief article is entitled New EU states blasted.The Moscow Times reports in an article by Paul Geitner entitled U.S., EUspar over subsidies to Boeing that the EU and the U.S. skirmished lastFriday over aid to Boeing and Airbus, with Brussels accusing Washington ofillegally terminating a 1992 bilateral accord.Vremya novostei and Kommersant briefly report that the EU has lifted a banon weapon supplies to Libya.Vremya novostei briefly reports that the EP has rejected the candidacy ofthe next commissioner from Italy, Rocco Buttiglione
11 Oct 2004
The oppositional Novaya gazeta has published an article by Alexander Mineyeventitled Draft from a window to Europe. Referring to a recent statement onrelations with Russia by next Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the dailynotes that Russia's relations with the EU are living through one of the mostdifficult periods in the recent history. The daily also reports on a recentsession of the Permanent Representatives' Committee that set the frameworkfor the upcoming EU-Russia summit. According to the daily, it will be aminimalist summit that would only fix the state of EU-Russia relations.Kommersant carries a brief article entitled Vietnam reaches agreement withEurope on WTO accession.Rossiyskaya gazeta reports on the EC recommendations on Turkey's candidacyfor the EU in an article by Elena Solntseva entitled Turkey is going toenter the EU - and introduces visas for tourists.
Press and Information Section
Delegation of the European Commission in Russia
28 Sep 2004
Interfax quotes Konstantin Kosachev, Chairman of State Duma's InternationalAffairs Committee, as saying that the State Duma would suggest synchronisedratification of the EU-Russia protocol to the PCA.Kommersant carries an article by Boris Volkhonsky, according which the EPhas launched hearings on the new composition of the European Commission. Thedaily notes that heated discussions on some of the proposed candidacies areexpected.Izvestia reports that the Russian office of the Charities Aid Foundation isholding, with the financial support of the EC, a conference on interactionbetween NGOs and the authorities. The article by Ilona Vinogradova isentitled In search for an active minority.
27 Sep 2004
The diplomatic supplement of Nezavisimaya gazeta has published an interviewwith Javier Solana entitled Javier Solana: Political Settlement inChechnya remains a priority for us.The Moscow Times carries a brief article entitled Turkey EU reforms.According to the article, the Turkish Parliament approved legal reformsexpected to boost the country's chances of starting membership talks withthe EU. Novye Izvestia reports on the issue in an article by Mekhman Gafrlyentitled Turkish euro-standard.
23 Sep 2004
Parlamentskaya gazeta (the mouthpiece of the Russian parliament) of 22September has published an article by Eduard Gushchin entitled They takeadvantage of the Beslan tragedy - Baltic states and Poland frighten the EUwith Russia. According to the article, the accession of Baltic states andEastern European countries into the EU has changed the internal balance ofthe EU and has already had an impact on its foreign policy. According to thedaily, European analysts have come to the conclusion that it will moredifficult for Russian diplomats to deal with the enlarged EU as thepositions of those who want to isolate Russia from Europe have considerablystrengthened in it. The daily goes on to say that the new course of the EUin relation to Russia will lead to the rapprochement between Moscow andWashington.The Moscow Times has published an article entitled EU approves 3 diaries.According to the article, Russian dairies won permission from the EU to sendtheir milk products to the EU market. A brief article in Vremya novostei isentitled Three Russian dairies allowed into Europe. Vedomosti reports onthe issue in an article by Anton Sarailin entitled Kefir for Europe.Kommersant briefly reports on the visit of Turkish Premier Erdogan toBrussels in an article by Alexander Gabuyev entitled Turkish Premier holdstalks with Brussels. Novye Izvestia reports on the issue in an article byElena Ogneva entitled Turkey called to report.
21 Sep 2004
The Moscow Times reports in an article entitled EU to push for free tradewith Russia (Bloomberg report) that Trade Commissioner - designate PeterMandelson will push for agreements to open commerce between the EU andindividual governments in Latin America and Asia as well as China andRussia.RIA Novosti reports that Sergey Yastrzhembsky, a presidential aide and anenvoy for EU-Russia relations, is currently on a two-day visit to Brussels.It is expected that he will hold talks with Commissioners - designate today.
20 Sep 2004
Kommersant has published an article by Konstantin Smirnov entitled GermanGref threatened Pascal Lamy with Siberia. The article reports on the visitof Commissioner Lamy to Siberia, where he discussed with his Russiancounterpart German Gref Russia's accession to the WTO and EU-Russiarelations in an informal setting. Vremya novostei reports on Pascal Lamy'slecture to Moscow students last Friday. The article by Vera Sitnina isentitled And finally I shall say... Rossiyskaya gazeta stresses Lamy'sremark that Russia's may become a full-fledged WTO member in 2005-2006, inan article by Igor Veletminsky entitled Lamy will take us into the WTO.Kommersant reports that speaking from Baku, Romano Prodi voiced concern overthe Russian authorities' plans to change to way the country is run and saidthat the European Commission does not want Russia to move towards anauthoritarian state.Kommersant briefly reports in an article entitled Turkish Premier plans tovisit Europe that during his visit to Brussels, Turkish Prime MinisterErdogan will have to clarify the position of his country on the ongoingreform of the Turkish justice system, including the proposal to makeadultery a punishable crime.The Moscow Times briefly reports in an article entitled UN on Chechnyathat the UN's top refugee official urged European nations to accommodateChechens fleeing the republic, insisting that they have the right to knockon our European door.Gazeta carries an article by Veniamin Ginodman entitled Europe entered thewar with international terrorism. According to the article, DefenceMinisters of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands signed anagreement on the creation of the European Gendarmerie Force.
16 Sep 2004
Vremya novostei carries an article by Andrey Zlobin entitled Ex-premier ofSpain will be questioned for terrorist acts - Europe will create a newsystem of security and aid to population. The article reports, inparticular, on a visit of Javier Solana to Barcelona where he presented areport on the reconsideration of security systems in Europe.
15 Sep 2004
Vremya novostei briefly reports that the Russian-French agreement on thefacilitation of the visa regime will come into force within a few weeks.All media report on a minute of silence held in thousands of schools in EUcountries to remember the victims of the Beslan hostage tragedy.Izvestia carries an article by Elena Shesternina entitled Turkey may not beallowed into the EU due to the law on adultery.Gazeta reports on an informal summit of the French, German and Spanishleaders in an article by Alexander Danilchyuk entitled Spain joined forceswith France and Germany against the rest of Europe and the U.S..Rossiyskaya gazeta reports on the issue in an article by Dmitry Kosareventitled Ravioli with European sauce.Trud carries a brief article by Olga Ivanova entitled EC Delegation toRussia has a new head.
14 Sep 2004
Izvestia reports that the EU plans to reconsider the rules on gas suppliesto its market and that Gazprom is likely to have competitors from Qatar,Iran and Korea. The article by Varvara Aglamishyan is entitled EU is afraidof gas dependence on Russia. Gazeta reports on the problems of Gazprom inthe EU market in an article by Nikolay Makeyev entitled Europe does notbelieve in Gazprom. A brief article in Vremya novostei is entitled Europewants to regulate gas transportation in a centralised way.Nezavisimaya gazeta reports that Europe and the US are prepared to introducesanctions against Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko. The article byOlga Mazayeva is entitled Lukashenko will again become a persona nongrata.Vremya novostei reports on an informal meeting between the Spanish, Frenchand German leaders in an article by Andrey Zlobin entitled New dispositionof 'old Europe'.Rossiyskaya gazeta carries an article by Vladimir Petrov entitled Germansare hurt by allies. According to the article, Madrid stroke a blow on oneof major foreign policy priorities of the Schroeder cabinet by saying thatit would support the candidacy of the EU rather than that of Germany as apermanent member of the UN Security Council.Rossiyskaya gazeta makes an attempt to analyse whether the EU model isacceptable for Russia. The article by Igor Toporovsky is entitled Reform inthe European way.
10 Sep 2004
Izvestia publishes an interview with Bart Jochems, spokesman of the DutchForeign Minister, commenting on the recent scandal in Russian-Dutchrelations, when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed asblasphemous a statement made by his Dutch counterpart Bernard Bot on behalfof the EU presidency. FM Bot had asked Russia to explain the circumstancessurrounding the Beslan hostage tragedy. The interview by Bart Jochems isentitled Our Minister did not demand any explanations from Russia.Vremya novostei quotes EU spokesperson Emma Udwin as saying that the EUspeaks out against out-of-court murders in the form of pre-emptivestrikes. The statement was a reaction to a recent remark by chief of staffof the Russian armed forces Yury Baluyevsky that Moscow is prepared forpre-emptive attacks against terrorist targets in any part of the world. Thearticle also quotes yesterday's statement by Defence Minister Sergey Ivanovthat launching pre-emptive strikes against terrorist bases, includingoutside Russia, is a justified and possible measure. The article by AndreyZlobin is entitled Under-developed defence conscience.
8 Sep 2004
Kommersant today reports briefly that Marc Franco has taken over work asHead of the Delegation of the European Commission to Russia and handed incopies of his credentials to the Russian Foreign Ministry.Today's Kommersant publishes fragments of an interview of Czech PresidentVaclav Klaus, who comments on prospects of his countries' joining the eurozone.Vremya novostei publishes an article called Turkish march of Verheugen, byAlexander Samokhotkin, which reports on the visit of Commissioner Verheugento Turkey to study Turkey's preparedness to join the EU.
7 Sep 2004
Today’s Izvestia publishes an article headed “’All misunderstood’ the Dutch minister’”, by Nadezhda Popova and Alexei Bausin, which quotes, inter alia, European Commission’s officials commenting on the Dutch Foreign Minister Bot’s statement on Beslan terror attack. According to the Commission’s officials, Mr Bot “has made the statement, which was misunderstood, not on behalf of the EU”. The authors assert, however, that President Prodi actually supported Mr Bot.
6 Sep 2004
Several publications comment on a statement made by Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot on behalf of the EU presidency asking Russia to explain the circumstances surrounding the Beslan hostage tragedy (See more under Political headlines). The following articles have been published:
(i) The Moscow Times: “EU asks Russia to explain” (combined reports);
(ii) Nezavisimaya gazeta: “There will be no avoiding pressure in the Chechen issue” by Yulia Petrovskaya;
(iii) Izvestia: “Latvians nearly caused a quarrel of Russia with the EU” by Alexey Bausin.
Vedomosti reports that the EC intends to alleviate the requirements of the Stability Pact.
3 Sep 2004
Several media outlets report that Russia has extended the validity of old veterinarian certificates for EU meat and poultry imports until 1 January 2005 (See Economic headlines). A detailed report on the issue has been published by Interfax. Other media publications include:
(i) Rossiyskaya gazeta: “We exchange beef for poultry” by Igor Veletminsky;
(ii) Kommersant: “Russia agreed to European meat” (brief article).
2 Sep 2004
Rossiyskaya gazeta has published an article by Sergey Karaganov entitled “Russia and Europe: together or as neighbours?”. Commenting on the prospects of EU-Russia relations, Karaganov notes that the two sides should give up unrealistic mega-projects like the four spaces and replace them with 10-20 concrete projects, which have an understandable structure and clear deadlines.
Press and Information Section
Delegation of the European Commission in Russia
25 Aug 2004
EU official stresses Russia’s responsibility in the conflict settlement in South Ossetia. Concluding a visit to South Ossetia, special European Union envoy for the South Caucuses Haike Taalvittie highlighted the importance of maintaining a constructive dialogue not only between Tbilisi and Tskhinvali but also between Tbilisi and Moscow emphasising Russia’s prominence in negotiations on a peaceful settlement in the Georgian breakaway region. Following Saakashvili’s accusations in France’s Liberation newspaper that Russian soldiers were to blame for attacking Georgian forces in South Ossetia last week, Kommersant compared Saakashvili to Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadow in his diplomatic relations towards Russia and Nezavisimaya critisized his continuous attempts to involve the international community in resolving the conflict. (Interfax, Kommersant, Nezavisimaya
23 Aug 2004
Today’s Kommersant publishes fragments of an interview given by President-designate Barroso to leading European newspapers last Friday.
According to Interfax, President Romano Prodi is scheduled to visit Georgia on 17-18 September for meetings with the Georgian leadership.
In a brief article, Vedomosti today reports that the European Commission has approved a draft code of conduct for Commissioners.
Today’s The Moscow Times publishes an article headed “EU Frets About Oil Prices” (Reuters’ report), which quotes EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia as saying that “the fundamentals of the market for oil are not justifying record highs in oil prices”.
20 Aug 2004
Izvestia today publishes an article about the new Commission entitled “The European Commission has never been so unpersuasive before”, written by Timofei Bordachev, deputy chief editor of “Russia in Global Affairs”. According to the author, the new European Commission will be heterogeneous and unpersuasive despite the fact that there are three former heads of governments and four ex-ministers of foreign affairs
18 Aug 2004
Izvestia today published an article entitled “Single Electric Europe”, by Varvara Aglamishyan, which reports that the EU and the German Finance Ministry have allocated 1.5 million euros to Kaliningrad to implement a project aimed at collecting information about the possibility of unifying the European market of electricity.
In an interview with Nezavisimaya gazeta, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus tackles, i.a., the issue of Lithuania’s membership in the EU. The interview is headed “Payment of compensations is on Russia’s conscience”.
17 Aug 2004
Rossiyskaya gazeta today published an article entitled “Behind three borders”, by Svetlana Pesotskaya, which reports about the situation in the Russian exclave Kaliningrad and transit from Kaliningrad to mainland Russia and vice versa.
Today’s Kommersant has published an article called “A voucher visa regime”, by Andrei Vypolzov, which reports on the new rule of issuing transit visas for Russian citizens introduced by the Lithuanian Consulate in Kaliningrad.
13 Aug 2004
The Moscow Times has published a brief article entitled “EU: no genocide proof”. According to the article, the EU said it had found no evidence of genocide in the Sudanese region of Darfur, although killing was widespread with little evidence of government efforts to protect civilians.
11 Aug 2004
Kommersant reports in a brief article entitled “Future EC head distributed posts” that the future EC President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso announced the Commission’s composition yesterday. Vremya novostei reports on the issue in an article by Katerina Labetskaya entitled “Masks are lifted - Europe saw the faces of its commissioners”. The daily stresses that Barroso has managed to bring together a strong team, including two former prime ministers and four former foreign ministers.
10 Aug 2004
Gazeta reports that the Italian Internal Affairs Minister called on all EUmember states to work out a common European policy on illegal migrants. Thearticle by Anton Ivanitsky is entitled Italy becomes the main border guardof Europe.The Moscow Times reports in a brief article entitled BA complains to EUthat the European Commission said yesterday it was looking into a complaintthat the Italian government ordered European airlines not to undercut thefares of its ailing state-owned air carrier Alitalia.Kommersant briefly reports on the arrival of an EU diplomatic mission to theMoldovan capital.Rossiyskaya biznes-gazeta carries an article entitled EU subsidies foundillegal. According to the article, the WTO has found that EU exportsubsidies to sugar producers contradict the rules of international trade.
2 Aug 2004
Vedomosti carries an article by Tobias Bak and Richard Miln entitledEuropean Commission accuses Peugeot. According to the article, the EC hasaccused Peugeot of violating the anti-trust legislation.The Moscow Times has published a brief article entitled Euro zonerecovers. According to the article, the EC data showed that the 12-nationzone's business climate indicator leapt to +0.58 this month from +0.43 inJune.
Press and Information Section
Delegation of the European Commission in Russia
29 Jul 2004
Nezavisimaya gazeta has published an article by Evgeny Grigoryev entitledThe near future of the EU is in many ways hazy. According to the daily,the EU Constitution remains the most acute problem of the Community, whilea real common foreign and security policy will not exist for a long while.Rossiyskaya gazeta reports on the talks between Russian Justice MinisterYury Chaika and his Italian counterpart Roberto Castelli in Moscow.According to the daily, the Ministers have agreed to join efforts infighting terrorism. The article by Vladislav Kulikov is entitled The lawwill come from Europe to Kolyma.Interfax quotes Roberto Castelli as saying that he sees no political motivesbehind the situation surrounding Yukos.
27 Jul 2004
Today's Kommersant quotes the President-designate of the European CommissionJose Manuel Barroso as saying in an interview with BBC2 that it is veryimportant that the best representatives of European countries become membersof the European Commission.Rossiyskaya gazeta today published a governmental resolution submitting tothe ratification of the Duma an intergovernmental agreement between Russiaand Germany on the facilitation of mutual trips of both countries' citizens.The Russian media point to a decree signed by Ukrainian President Kuchmaamending the Ukrainian military doctrine and excluding the accession to NATOand the EU as final goals of Euro-Atlantic and European integration. Thefollowing articles tackle this issue: (i) Izvestia: Ukraine is not preparing any more to join NATO, byAndrei Zaytsev and Yanina Sokolovskaya. (ii) Gazeta: Kuchma turns around, by Pavel Aptekar. (iii) Novyie Izvestia: A full U-turn, by Andrei Kapustin. (iv) Vedomosti briefly reports on the issue in a short articleheaded Ukraine not believing in its accession to NATO and the EU. (v) Vremya novostei: Ukraine is not Russia, bit with Russia,by Svetlana Stepanenko and Arkady Dubnov. (vi) The Moscow Times: Putin Tells West Not To Meddle InUkraine, by Valeria Korchagina.Vedomosti today published an article by Timofei Bordachev, Deputy ChiefEditor of Russia in Global Affaires. The article is entitled To livewith Europe. According to the author, despite regular summits between theEU and Russia, the history of EU-Russia relations has become, with rareexceptions, an endless chain of failures in the implementation of what hadbeen planned.
23 Jul 2004
Several dailies report that the former Portuguese Prime Minister Jose ManuelDurao Barroso was confirmed yesterday by the European Parliament as the nextPresident of the European Commission. The following articles have beenpublished:
(i) Kommersant: European Commission changes its President;
(ii) The Moscow Times: EC confirms President;
(iii) Vedomosti: New European Commission head elected;
(iv) Vremya novostei: New head of Europe by KaterinaLabetskaya;
Kommersant briefly reports in an article entitled EU being excluded fromMiddle East settlement that according to sources close to the Israeligovernment, Israel will try to minimise the EU role in the Middle Eastsettlement.
Press and Information Section
Delegation of the European Commission in Russia
Where are the EU's Final Borders?
comment to The Moscow Times, June 17, 2004
How much Russia may pay for the EU enlargement?
Deloviye Ludi, article from May, 2004
Russia's losses from EU enlargement will be minimal
Yuri Bortko, Director, Centre of Integration European Studies atthe Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences
comment for RIA Novosti, Apr. 30, 2004
Ambassador Richard Wright, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Russia
Nezavisimaya Gazeta, article from January 26, 2004