The process of expansion of the European Union should not lead to the restoration of division lines, warns Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in his articles carried on Saturday by an authoritative Moscow-based newspaper, Izvestia. The article is on the fifth anniversary of coming into force of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Russia and the European Union.
The Russian foreign minister is also against possible deterioration of Russia's economic positions on the markets of countries joining the EU. In Ivanov's opinion, this "would be counterproductive for both Russia and the united Europe".
"But Russia does not mean only Russian businessmen. The attitude of Russian public to Europe is not only the question of tariffs or prices. We see that the expansion of the Schengen zone at the expense of the future EU members, toughening the regime along its external borders objectively creates in the nearest perspective additional barriers for free movement, free communication between people in the continent. It is a question of human rights".
Igor Ivanov is optimistic, noting that, "despite serious discussions on these or others questions, we and Europeans can understand each other better and, as a rule, speak one and the same language."