A top-level EU-Russia summit begins today in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Russian President Vladimir Putin opened the doors of his residence to delegates last night ahead of the talks. It is expected a new framework for EU-Russia relations will be agreed to replace the existing Partnership and Co-operation Agreement.
It is understood steps will also be taken to simplify the system of visa applications. But the temperature could rise due to tensions over Russia’s position as the main energy supplier to the European bloc – highlighted by the dispute with Ukraine earlier this year. A range of international issues are also on the agenda, including Iran, the Middle East and tensions in the EU’s and Russia’s common neighbourhood, for example Belarus.