Ahead at a snail's pace
Commenting on the results of the EU-Russia Summit, Green MEP Werner Schulz, First Vice-Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, said:
"The Summit has brought about some possible progress: Russia wants to enter the WTO and in this, it can rely on the EU's support. In all remaining questions, however, the EU and Russia are moving towards each other only at a snail's pace. Regarding the modernisation work programme, understanding was achieved. However, concrete projects should first be proposed in order to be able to estimate whether, and to what extent, they can be sustained. It would be too unambitious to work only on another working plan.
"Also, in the field of visa liberalisation there is a lack of comprehensive steps. The Commission and the Council are required to present to the Parliament concrete proposals on how they imagine the way forward Also in this regard, the tightening up of Russia´s visa regulations towards Europeans is counterproductive.
"There are noteworthy statements from the Council President in regard to "frozen conflicts". These stand in the way of closer cooperation between the EU and Russia. The President of the Council van Rompuy has endorsed the sentiment that closer cooperation is possible only upon progress in Georgia. Russia would be well advised to give up the blocking stance that it demonstrated at the Summit in Astana and to comply with its obligations within the scope of OSCE".