On 9 June regular Russia – EU expert consultations on Western Balkans (COWEB) and EU Enlargement (COELA) were held in Brussels within the established framework of Russia – EU Political Dialogue.
Ambassador Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko, Director of the 4th European Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led the Russian delegation. The EU was represented by Ms Daphne Bergsma, Director for European Affairs of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Eduard Auer, Head of Division for Western Balkans of the European External Action Service.
A detailed and constructive discussion was held on a broad range of topical issues, in particular in the light of bilateral cooperation of the candidates and potential candidates for EU membership with Russia. An interested exchange of views took place on challenges and threats affecting the region, including the migration crisis.
An agreement was confirmed to hold the next round of the COWEB / COELA consultations in the second half of 2016.