As he was opening the plenary meeting of the summit, Mr Putin said that current political and economic improvements in Russia were opening thoroughly new possibilities for its more intensive dialogue with the European Union.
Dominating the agenda were Russia’s trade and economic partnership with the European Union, their security interaction, regional settlement problems and the prospects of European Union enlargement. The parties confirmed their interest in closer cooperation in energy, science, technologies, justice, nuclear safety and environment protection.
Representing Russia at the meeting were Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, other ministers and heads of central offices; representing the EU, Goran Persson, the Swedish Prime Minister and President-in-Office of the Council of Europe, Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, and Javier Solana, Secretary General of the Council of the European Union and High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
The meeting reached an agreement to establish a high-level commission, which would blueprint the ideas of a united economic environment.
The parties summarised the meeting with a joint statement, which confirmed the exceptional importance of strengthening long-term strategic partnership, and stressed that they shared the goal of promoting economic progress and prosperity, social development, cleaner environment, and stronger security and stability in Europe on the basis of common values.
As the statement said, the enforcement of international norms and regulations, particularly those acting in the World Trade Organisation, must be the key element of the economic rapprochement of Russia and the EU. The parties pointed out the achievements of the energy dialogue, expressed their interest in closer environmental partnership, and stressed the necessity of stepping up the fight against corruption and money laundering.
Russia and the European Union agreed to promote the development of the Kaliningrad Region together.
The parties agreed that it was urgent to achieve political settlement in Chechnya, with due respect for Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They said that the OSCE Assistance Group should return to Chechnya as soon as possible.
Russia and the European Union spoke for a closer dialogue on political issues and European security, and stressed their shared interest in team efforts for arms control and non-proliferation, and for disarmament.
The meeting confirmed the parties’ intention to promote the resumption of Middle Eastern settlement negotiations, and said that it was necessary to fully comply with the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1244 as the basis for the Kosovo conflict settlement.
Mr Putin, Mr Persson, Mr Prodi and Mr Solana addressed a joint news conference after the summit.