On December 3, 2014 regular Russia – EU expert-level consultations on the Western Balkans (COWEB) and EU Enlargement (COELA) were held in Brussels within the established framework of the Russia – EU Political Dialogue.
Ambassador Alexandre BOTSAN-KHARCHENKO, Director of the 4th European Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, led the Russian delegation. The EU was represented by Mr Eduard AUER, Head of Division, Western Balkans, European External Action Service (EEAS), and Mr Piero SARDI, Head of EU External Relations Division, Directorate General for the European Union, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy.
The meetings provided a good opportunity for a thorough and constructive discussion on a broad range of topical issues of the current Balkan agenda. A detailed exchange of views also took place in the context of European perspective of candidates and potential candidates for EU membership, also in light of their bilateral cooperation with Russia.
Next round of the COWEB / COELA consultations is scheduled for the first half of 2015.