Spain Advocates Active Integration Of Russia Into European Union And World Community

Spain advocates an active integration of Russia into the European Union and the world community, Prime Minister of Spain Jose Maria Aznar stated at the press conference in Madrid held on the results of the visit of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov to that country. Jose Maria Aznar stressed that Spain, which will chair the European Union since January 2002 for six months, intends to give a new impetus to Russia-EU cooperation. According to the Spanish premier, he has already held talks with leaders of many European countries on the priority of strengthening and developing relations with Russia in EU activities. Jose Maria Aznar believes that currently, when Russia enhances cooperation with the EU and the USA, Moscow needs to find more precise framework for its relations with NATO, which, in his words, should be expressed not only in flexibility of the sides, but also in heightening responsibility. The Spanish premier emphasised that he regards Russia as a strategic ally of Spain, with which he would like to develop close relations. According to him, a special attention should be paid to economic cooperation between Russia and the European Union. Taking the prospect of establishing Russia-EU single economic space into account, Spain intends to soon work out a report on overcoming obstacles on this way. Jose Maria Aznar also said that their talks with Mikhail Kasyanov focused on prospects of Russia's entry into the World Trade Organisation. The Spanish premier believes it to be of primary importance both for Russia and other countries of the world.

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