- What are your impressions of the recent EU-Russian joint ministerial held in Moscow?
Ambassador Chizhov: This was a regular meeting, being the fifth in that form. The previous one took place two years ago in Brussels but number of participants is growing: this time as many as 15 Commissioners went to Moscow, and a similar number of Russian ministers, headed by Barroso and Medvedev took part. The meeting also saw Barroso meet President Putin.
So I see this as an indication of increased interest in this format of communication. It is taking place in parallel with summits with the EU, but has much less to do with political issues and more with economy and bilateral ties, with the aim of promoting sectoral cooperation in various fields.
It was a good meeting. This does not mean the two sides agreed on everything. That would have been unnatural, because in the multi-faceted, all-encompassing relationship that Russia has with the EU the appearance of different views is inevitable. But what is important is that we manage to address those differences jointly, and resolve them through negotiation.