Russia and Europe: strategic partnership and energy dialogue

25 November 2009

Igor Ivanov, former Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs and member of LUKOIL Board of Directors, said many people feel the fall of the Berlin Wall failed to change the shape of Europe, as walls still exist to block the path to EU-Russian engagement.

Moscow believes NATO is no longer relevant to a post-Cold War world, and prefers to use the Russia-NATO Council and the Istanbul Charter for European Security to enable the two sides to work in partnership to confront global threats.

Russian President Medvedev recently suggested convening a meeting to discuss European security and draw up an agreement, possibly an updated Helsinki Act.  

With the changing global centres of power, Russia and the EU are global economic partners, as the EU dominates Russian foreign export and import trade and Russia needs EU technology. We need to create a reliable, secure and predictable free market and create a strong EU-Russian investment and energy environment, he said.

LUKOIL has demonstrated that profits can be made if the political will is there, and EU-Russian relations need to be redefined to bring the two sides together.

However people are more important than policies, so we need to create a “people’s human Europe” that is a home for all our citizens, where freedom, research, culture and human rights flourish. We also need to introduce a Russian-EU visa-free regime so that there will be no new dividing lines.

Russia’s and the EU’s place in the future world depends on what we do together today, said Mr Ivanov. As we are united by our European culture, we can jointly share the new world order of freedom and justice.