On 17 December 2014 the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the Russian Federation and the European Union (in force since 1997) was supplemented by a Protocol to take account of the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union.
The Protocol was signed in Brussels by the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov, the Permanent Representative of Italy (EU Council Presidency) Ambassador Stefano Sannino – on behalf of EU Member States and the European Union, and Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete – for Euratom.
The signing took place at the premises of the Permanent Representation of Italy to the EU.
The document forms an integral part of the Russia – EU PCA and extends to Croatia the same conditions that the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement applies to all EU Member States. The Protocol will apply provisionally after 15 days from the date of its signature, i.e. from 2 January 2015, to relations between the Parties within the framework of the PCA as of the date of accession of Croatia to the EU, 1 July 2013. The legal vacuum caused by de jure non-application of the Russia – EU PCA to Croatia is thus eliminated. Meanwhile, since 1 July 2013 the Russian Federation, as a gesture of good will, has been consistently applying the Agreement to Croatia without any discrimination, and the Russian side was prepared to sign the Protocol as early as late 2013.
Upon approval by the Parties, in accordance with their own procedures, the Protocol will enter into force on the first day of the first month following the date of deposit of the last instrument of approval. Further to established practice regarding such documents, the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union is identified as depository. Similar Protocols were signed by Russia and the EU after each accession of new Member States to the EU.