Putin Says Moscow, Brussels Can Establish Common Economic Space

Russia and the European Union have arrived at a "stage of practical economic decisions" on the common European economic space, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a Brussels press-conference Wednesday. The sides approved the mandate of the "top level ad hoc group" which is to deal with the above issue. According to Putin, the purpose of this work is a "unified and flourishing Europe". One of the key issues the sides discuss regularly and had discussed at the Brussels summit too was cooperation in the energy area. The Russian president noted the issue, as well as that of establishing a common European economic space, had been raised in a timely manner following the initiative of Romano Prodi, head of the Eurocommission. "Russia sees its interest in supplying energy resources to Europe, but, like the European countries, it is also interested in providing sufficient energy for itself," Putin said. He also stressed that Russia does not behave in a selfish manner and is always a reliable partner.

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