EU-Russia partnership talks on a common space for freedom, security and justice have made modest progress, in Helsinki. Visa facilitation and both-way readmissions were the main substance of the dialogue. Accords on this should open the way for easier travel and contacts across the European continent.
EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini gave a status report:
“The first result (of our collaboration) should be the entering into force very soon of both the readmission agreement and visa facilitation agreement – already signed. Our intention is to work very hard, after the opinion to be given by the Parliament in December, in order to make it possible in early 2007 for the two agreements to enter into force.”
Meanwhile, at talks in Moscow, the EU’s energy commissioner called for more mutual EU-Russia trust in this sector, relating to investment and supply security.
Russian gas monopoly Gazprom last week called for the state to step in to prevent a repeat of last year’s winter fuel crisis, which it said was likely because of a poor state of readiness in Russian regions.