The bilateral common policy of EU-Russia relations was discussed during the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels on Monday 14 March 2016. At the press conference following the Council, the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini stated that “unanimity on five guiding principles of the European Union's policy towards Russia” was reached, adding that the work session on Russia did not focus on sanctions this time.
The EU countries agreed on the following guiding principles:
● Full implementation of the Minsk agreements as a key element for any substantial change in EU-Russia relations;
● Strengthening relations with the EU’s Eastern Partners and other neighbours, in particular in Central Asia;
● Strengthening internal European Union resilience, in particular in view of energy security, hybrid threats and strategic communication, but not only;
● The need for selective engagement with Russia, both on foreign policy issues - this is clear, when it comes to Iran or the Middle East Peace Process or Syria, but also DPRK, migration or counter-terrorism, climate change - but also in other areas where there is a clear European Union interest;
● Supporting Russian civil society, engaging and investing in people-to-people contacts and exchanges, in particular between Russian and EU youth.
Mogherini concluded that discussion on these issues was not difficult, adding that the European Commission will consider in the following months the concrete actions needed to reflect the political decisions agreed upon yesterday by the EU Foreign Ministers. (EU Neighbourhood Info)
Remarks by Federica Mogherini following the Foreign Affairs Council
Video – Mogherini’s doorstep remarks upon arrival at the Foreign Affairs Council
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre news on Russia