President Vladimir Putin: The ideas and evaluations expressed at this meeting have undoubtedly allowed us to gain a better understanding of the stage of interaction that we are currently at, and note positive achievements of our partnership, and also to examine difficult key moments.
Furthermore, we have heard specific suggestions from many of our colleagues on joint actions in the short-term and long-term perspective. I see the main result of discussion is that all the participants of this summit are in favour of increasing partnership between Russia and the expanding European Union. We have confirmed that we have a common strategic goal – to create a truly united Europe.
Adherence to this goal is clearly seen in the joint declaration passed which strengthens fundamentally important guidelines for further development of multi-faceted strategic partnership of Russia and the European Union.
I would also like to note our common desire to find a solution which would allow us to turn the upcoming expansion of the European Union into a factor which will bring our nations and peoples closer together, and allow us to bring new aspects to the partnership between Russia and the European Union, and take this partnership to a new, higher level, which corresponds to the requirements of the times and the scale of the task that lies before us.
We have agreed to entrust our ministers and experts, energetically and without delay, to clear up unsolved questions that have accumulated, including in the area of trade and the economy. We expect a concrete program of measures which will be a contribution to the practical realisation of creating a common European space of Russia and the EU.
We are grateful to all our colleagues for their participation in passing the joint document “A single Europe for all Europeans.” I know that reaching agreement on this issue was difficult. Nevertheless, the goal has been expressed, in the following paragraph: “Russia and the EU have agreed to discuss conditions for visa-less travel in the long-term perspective”. While we understand all the difficulties of this issue, which have also been expressed by several candidates for membership in the European Union, we share these concerns and will work together to solve them. With all the difficulties involved, the task is quite clear and comprehensible, and we understand the direction we should be going in and what goal we should be aiming for.
We also agreed on the considerable potential of Russia and the European Union in opposing such challenges as international terrorism, organised crime and the drug threat. Our competent structures must seriously deal with the problem of drug trafficking from Afghanistan in close co-operation with actions taken by other international structures, and organisations of individual countries.
Together, we can make an important contribution to preventing and regulating various regional conflicts. Increasing the effectiveness of our work will undoubtedly be helped be further improvement of mechanisms of cooperation between Russia and the EU, and the decision to establish a permanent Partnership Council – this a clear sign of the degree of maturity of our cooperation.
In conclusion, allow me once again to express my gratitude for coming to St. Petersburg, and that you found the time to visit our beautiful city during the anniversary celebrations, which have become an event for our entire country. And thanks to your presence, it has also become an international event.
I would also like to thank you for your united approval of the idea of the St. Petersburg appeal, and of course that you have passed this important document. Thus, every participant of today’s meeting, along with all the heads of state and government who visited St. Petersburg for the 300th anniversary of the city, demonstrated our common aspiration to follow the ideas of humanism in the future, and to develop cooperation between our countries.
I want to thank you very much for your participation and joint work.
To St. Petersburg and its prosperity and well-being!
To the people of the city!
To our guests!