On 3 March 2015 the Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Alexey Ulyukaev during a brief working visit to Brussels met Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn.
During the meeting with Cecilia Malmström discussion focused on bilateral trade and economic relations against the background of the crisis in Ukraine. In this context mutual understanding was reached on the need to continue working to address Russian concerns over the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. It was agreed to hold a trilateral Russia-EU-Ukraine meeting on ministerial level as soon as possible to discuss these issues. The forthcoming meeting is to be preceded by the work of experts.
Furthermore, the parties agreed to explore prospects of establishing a common economic space from Lisbon to Vladivostok, and cooperation between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union.
WTO issues were also on the agenda of the meeting, in particular finalisation of the Doha Round and trade disputes between Russia and the EU. The parties confirmed their common position that they prefer to settle disputes at the stage of bilateral consultations, i.e. without resorting to arbitration of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body.
During the meeting with Commissioner Johannes Hahn the Russian Minister raised a number of specific questions concerning Russia-EU cross-border cooperation programmes. They agreed to stay in touch on this subject.