Vladimir Putin: At the start of our meeting I would like to say a couple of words about the results of our work in Rome and Paris. A Russia-EU Summit has ended and we all agree – we have exchanged opinions with the Prime Minister – that the results are quite positive.
First, we have managed to agree on and sign a rather important document that outlines the perspective of the development of the relations between Russia and the European Union. I am referring to the agreement to create a common economic space with the EU. It lays down the principles of our cooperation. We have also agreed to create common spaces in the fields of education and science and in the humanitarian sphere. As you know, Russia has joined the Bologna process, which should eventually result in the mutual recognition of diplomas, something that is extremely important for young people because it expands the labour market. It is a very serious and substantial step to integrate Russia in the world.
We have discussed some specific projects. I would like to mention our cooperation in space. In Paris and Rome we agreed on practical steps to implement our joint plans to use Russian booster rockets for launches from the Kourou launching site as part of joint space exploration with the European Union. We are talking about civilian as well as military components, which is very important for us because it marks a quantum change in our relations with the European Union.
To sum up our work with our colleagues in Rome, I would like to mention another area of our cooperation – easing visa regulations. As you know we have signed corresponding bilateral documents with Italy and France to ease visa regulations for some categories of Russian citizens and the citizens of Italy and France. Earlier we signed a similar document with Germany.
The new regulations will apply above all to young people and businessmen, politicians, athletes, scientists and teachers.