Results of five years of economic cooperation to be discussed at Russian-EU summit

On the threshold of the 10th Russian-EU summit the major focus will be set on the problem of Kaliningrad transit. Nonetheless, the agenda of the Brussels meeting has much more important strategic issues, too. These are the results of the five years of economic cooperation within the framework of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and the outlooks of Russian-EU relations after the European Union expands eastward and completes an internal reform. Assessing the five-year experience of cooperation, one will notice that the goals that were set are far from being achieved. Russian exports to the countries of the EU account for over 30 percent of overall Russian exports, but for the EU it is a ridiculously small faction of only 3 percent of the total EU imports.

Russian-EU investment relations, on the other hand, still seem to be at the primordial stage: European investors tend to invest their money into the countries of the Central and Eastern Europe, not Russia by all means. The major reason for the standstill in economic relations is the Russian legislative regulatory system that still retains its 'special features' despite the reforms of the past few years. The adaptation of legislative procedures is required for closer cooperation, which means Russia will have to assume secondary EU legislation without actually participating in its development.

This problem will manifest itself in the most acute way when Russia and the UE develop a new joint project - the single European economic zone. To succeed in it, according to the EU, Russia needs to pursue a more aggressive competitive policy and liberalize its domestic market as well as adapt its environmental norms and consumer protection rules in accordance with European standards, the Vremya Novostey newspaper reported.

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